No Master Toy License for DC | Interviewing

A few weeks ago, I posted here at C506 my Star Wars talk with Daniel Pickett from Similar to how he put it regarding SW toys, Pickett says “we’re in this really interesting time right now” when it comes to DC.

Daniel and I did a crossover podcast recording for my Update: Nerd Style pod on Star Wars and then hit DC for my  DC Collecticast.

From on DC Collecticast:

AFI: We’re in this really interesting time right now, especially with the transition from Mattel having the DC master toy license to Warner Bros. making the decision that no one has the master toy license, and starts handing out different pieces to different companies.

AFI (continued): So, we’re gonna see stuff from Spin Master, we’ll see stuff from MacFarlane coming out. Which, is also bonkers that that’s happening! You would think that would be a conflict of interest: that MacFarlane is a huge piece of Image Comics, which is DC’s second biggest competitor. And, the fact that his toy company is now making figures for that. I mean, what a crazy time we’re living in right now.

BD: Yea, wow!

So, what other companies are affected by this lack of master toy license for DC?

NECA/Loot Crate

AFI: I don’t know if you got the most recent NECA NY Comic Con exclusives that they did, for Batman and Alien, and Predator and Green Lantern.

NYCC 2019 Exclusive Green Lantern vs Predator from NECA
NYCC 2019 Exclusive Batman vs Joker Alien from NECA

BD: Yea, @toyshiz and I talked about that.

AFI: Those are gorgeous! I think that, with this reorganizing of the license, that NECA’s not going to be able to do any more DC stuff. Their loophole sort of closed. I think the last thing they’re doing– and, this has kind of flown under the radar I feel. Because, NECA just bought Loot Crate. Like, saved it, actually, from going bankrupt. And, so, they just started reworking those boxes and doing crowdfunding for these new crates with figures. So, they’ve taken their ’89 Batman that they’ve released, and repainted it, and put it in a vintage Dark Knight Collection box to be the Gold Tech Shield Batman. And, that’s up on Loot Crate right now, where they’re trying to hit a certain amount to make this. So, I think that will probably be their last Batman figure. But, it’s in this gorgeous vintage looking art.


AFI: I know Mattel kept a couple of pieces. They’re still doing DC Superhero Girls, they still have Hot Wheels, and Imaginext. Imaginext might be my favorite DC line of all time. It is crazy to me what they have gotten away with as a pre-school line. They released a Killing Joke Joker, they put out the Kingdom Come Superman in the last blind bag wave. They’ve gone so far depth of character: Doctor Fate, Swamp Thing. They just released an image of Lobo on his bike, that’s gonna be coming in January.

Imaginext Blind Bag with Kingdom Come Superman

BD: Yea, I’m looking at a Jim Gordon Batman. What the heck?

AFI: Yea! I mean, it’s bonkers what these guys are doing. Fisher-Price is located in upstate New York, so they’re far away from kind of the headquarters of Mattel (laughs)…Imaginext, what they are doing, their DC line, the breadth of it. And, it’s the line that you’ve always wanted. ‘Cause, it’s full of vehicles, they do a play set every year. It is bonkers what those guys are doing. And, again, I think they’ve flown under the radar from a lot of the collecting community, but I really love that line.

Killing Joke Joker from Imaginext

DC Collectibles

AFI: It seemed like for DC Collectibles, with the announcement, what was happening with the license, that they were kind of slowing down a little bit and pulling back on action figures; and, focusing more on statues and busts and things. But, I’m happy to see that they’re still continuing to reveal some new stuff. I really hope that they’re animated extension line, of characters that weren’t in the original animation. I really hope that does well for them. Because, I’d love to see that continue. I love the idea of that.

Batman Who Laughs action figure from DC Collectibles’ Batman: The Adventures Continue line

BD: Yea, the “Adventures Continue” line?

AFI: Yea, I’d love for them to still do more, like Justice League characters in that line. I’ll buy anything they put out. I’ll buy the mayor’s assistant. I know not everyone feels as strongly as I do, but I really have loved what they have done with that line. And, just the fact that we’ve gotten the characters that we missed out on. Like Roxy Rocket…They’ve really put a lot of love and thought into that line.

Batman: The Adventures Continue action figure concept designs from the DC Collectibles panel at NY Comic Con 2019. Left to right: Talon, Thomas Wayne Batman, Hush. Photo: Benjamin David

Again, tune into DC Collecticast and an upcoming Update: Nerd Style pod for my full audio interview with AFI. And, follow AFI for ALL the toy news action one could desire! Also, much more writing will come out of my talks with Daniel, so stay tuned for more here  at C506.

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