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Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing Deal

Discuss the ever popular character comprehensive line "DC Universe Classics" here! This also includes DC Superheroes, DC Universe Classics, DC Unlimited, Batman Unlimited, Club Infinite Earths, Movie Masters, 1966 Batman TV Series, Club Black Freighter, Total Heroes and any other DC figure line utilizing the 6" scale.

Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing Deal

Postby 1987olds442 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:27 pm

I was over at the toyark and I saw this:

Mattel will retain the toy licensing rights to DC Comics characters for at least another three years according to a new report in Variety. The deal extension covers DC Comics, DC TV Shows and DC Movies. Unsurprisingly, Mattel will officially produce toys based on the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as Justice League movies. According to the report, the deal covers Mattel’s other brands including Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Barbie, Mattel Games and Fisher-Price. Here’s a few snippets:
“Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have an unrivaled portfolio of characters and a strong slate of content across all platforms which is essential to driving our global consumer products business—a business anchored by our long-term partnership with Mattel,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “With so much opportunity on the horizon, we know Mattel will bring the talents of its world-class organization to create and market product lines for fans of all ages.”



“In our fifteen years of collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Mattel has been honored with bringing the stories and characters of the DC Comics universe to life in toy form,” said Doug Wadleigh, senior VP, global brands marketing, boys and entertainment for Mattel. “Mattel’s robust portfolio has helped extend DC Comics properties to new consumers utilizing the toy brands they know and trust. We are excited to continue our partnership, and look forward to supporting upcoming entertainment launches and franchise development.”



Mattel also has reinvigorated its collector offering with the new 6-inch Total Heroes line, and the four-inch DC Multiverse line of hyper-detailed action figures for the more serious collector.

For the full article, you can Click Here.


For me this is sad news especially how they miss-handled the DC property the last few years. A good part of the declining sales with the DCUC line in my opinion was their constant push to try and make it a Super Powers 2.0 with putting characters that hadn't been relevant in decades in the line and costumes that characters haven't worn in decades either.

I'm in my thirties and I barely remember the Super Powers line and the same with the Super Friends cartoon. Of course at that time I was more into Transformers during the time the Super Powers toyline was made. I didn't really get into superheroes and comics until the 90's starting with the death of Superman and the Incredible Hulk. So just speaking for myself I had little to know interest in characters that I didn't recognize, and I thought that would be a little hard to do since I have 1,965 DC comics. But when the rare 90's themed character showed up it was the figure figure I had to get.

Even when they tried to do Batman themed lines they even screwed those up. Take the Batman Unlimited line for instance instead of having one Batman per wave and the rest be other Bat-Family characters and members of his rogues gallery which would have made since they made entire waves different variations of Batman... I don't see little Timmy asking Mommy & Daddy if they would buy him all these different versions of Batman, but Batman plus Villains to fight against that would have worked.

As for their DC Total heroes line I don't care what they say it is not an Adult collector line. Some of them look okay, but they are clearly meant to made for younger kids.

It would be nice to have the DCUC line start back, but I would also like to the DC division partner up with Mattel's WWE toyline division. The body sculpts and the range of articulation on those WWE Elite figures are so much better than the DCUC line ever was. Those figures lend themselves for some great custom figures. Not only do those WWE elite bodies look better it would also cut down the cost of tooling new bodies. I could so see myself buying new figure based on those elite WWE base figures. I know it wouldn't ever happen, but either that or bringing back the DCUC style of figures back would be the only thing that would bring me back to buying anything DC related from Mattel.

Here are a few examples of WWE elite based customs:
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Here is a list of the different WWE body types:
http://forum.wrestlingfigs.com/thread/256237/mattel-torso-sculpts-list-updated
Last edited by 1987olds442 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby AcidDragon » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:52 pm

Nice post, olds. Yeah, I think Elite bodies would be a great way to spice up the variety in a DCUC inspired line. Only gripe I had with Elite figures were the fact that even though the legs were on ball joints, I couldn't get the thighs to hold in a kicking position on most of my figures. Also the joints were super stiff on some of them. I though I was going to end up snapping pieces off. The sculpts, though, are pretty darn great.
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby 1987olds442 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:28 pm

Thanks AC, I thought I would put a little more detail in my thoughts instead of the usual rhetoric that Mattel stinks, etc. Which they do...LOL

I have noticed on the some of the more recent elites that I bought the ankle joints are extremely tight. I usually end up having to dunk them in hot water to get them to move, before realizing that I did snap one ankle joint.

I also wonder if the people over at Mattel has ever even thought about using the Elite figures for DC characters? It really seems like it would have been more costs effect than tooling completely new bodies for the Total Heroes line.
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby Truwe » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:11 am

I never understood why they wouldn't do that. They had no problem part swapping with their MOTU line to make the nice DKR Batman and the **** Nu52 Darkseid. Prodigy from the Fwoosh made a nice Batman and Superman bashing together DCUC and WWE parts.

Sadly, this makes sense so Matty will never do it.
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby 1987olds442 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:19 am

Truwe wrote:I never understood why they wouldn't do that. They had no problem part swapping with their MOTU line to make the nice DKR Batman and the **** Nu52 Darkseid. Prodigy from the Fwoosh made a nice Batman and Superman bashing together DCUC and WWE parts.

Sadly, this makes sense so Matty will never do it.

What's funny too is that at one time they swore that it would be impossible to use MOTUC parts in the DC line.

I've seen those customs that Prodigy did and they look great.
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby TRDouble » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:56 am

I guess I would be one of the few :P on the interwebs happy that Mattel is keeping the license. I've had many complaints over the last few or more years with their attention to the DC license, but until the last year or two, what was being done was still viable enough to make me happy overall. And considering the age of the DCUC line, I was happy to see it continue past the DCUC stage, even if it was limping to the finish line (Multi-Colored Lanterns, the move to Batman & DC Unlimited and the Video Game figures; New52 figures were coming no matter what, even if DCUC continued). My biggest complaint was how the license was handled on Matty.com. I felt like many others that Scott's preference and love of MOTU made DC second fiddle (at best) and it suffered by comparison.

Moving beyond DCUC though, I like Total Heroes. I like (when I can find them) DC Hot Wheels vehicles, even if they are all Batman-related (could we get a Super-Mobile please?!?). I liked Infinite Heroes. And The Batman. The DC Barbies Super-Heroines may not have been everyone's cup of tea, but it did expand the DC brand and I love my Batgirl & Batcycle set.

For me, the biggest problem with Mattel is that, besides DCUC, they cannot keep a line going long enough to be truly relevant, or maybe a better word would be... Classic. Infinite Heroes had a better run than a lot of people give it, but it's nothing to be remembered as time goes on. The Batman was okay, but I do not think it produced that many unique characters. Total Heroes? Well, at least they are hitting the big guns early, so we should have a good Justice League out of it before lack of retail support and price gouging by TRU kills it prematurely. Kind of like Young Justice. Kind of like most of the Mattel DC lines.

And I would agree with those that think Mattel has no clue as to what they are doing with their lines. The hex holes in "Batman: Brave & The Bold" made me avoid all but a Batman and that classic Golden Age Joker. A DC Multiverse General Zod released without a Superman? Just two of many examples (and don't get me started with Matty.com again).

But in the end, I like many of the Mattel DC lines (DC Super Friends was fun too). And even now, it is worlds better than what Hasbro was doing in the last couple years of having the license. I doubt we ever see a line from DC & Mattel that lasts as long as DCUC (and I don't rule out return of a re-branded DCUC down the line, much like Hasbro has done with Marvel Legends, without the complete re-brand), but I think Mattel can still give us some good DC items.

And besides MOTU, we can take solace in the fact that it isn't just DC that Mattel has sometimes been clueless about. As a fan of "Ghostbusters" and "Back To The Future", I have endured varying levels of suffering at the hands of Mattel. At least I did get a complete Lion Voltron with Pilots.
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby TRDouble » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:01 am

Truwe wrote:I never understood why they wouldn't do that. They had no problem part swapping with their MOTU line to make the nice DKR Batman and the **** Nu52 Darkseid. Prodigy from the Fwoosh made a nice Batman and Superman bashing together DCUC and WWE parts.

Sadly, this makes sense so Matty will never do it.

It's odd how toy companies work sometimes. When Hasbro had the DC license, I kept hoping and hoping that they would make a DC line similar to their G.I. Joe line. A nice, 3 3/4" line DC line with all that articulation, in a scale perfect for vehicles (toy companies still made vehicles and sets back then). But instead, we got Total Justice and Justice League :?

Sharing parts of similarly scaled lines is even easier. Why Mattel has been so dead set against sharing parts across lines makes no sense at all. I don't know about WWE, but MOTU and DCUC even had the same designers, making it that much easier to do!
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby Avalon » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:33 pm

I'm not totally against them getting the license again. I just hope the body types are similar enough to allow for some compatibility!!
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Re: Mattel & Warner Bros. Extend Their DC Comics Licensing D

Postby Avalon » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:34 pm

TRDouble wrote:It's odd how toy companies work sometimes. When Hasbro had the DC license, I kept hoping and hoping that they would make a DC line similar to their G.I. Joe line. A nice, 3 3/4" line DC line with all that articulation, in a scale perfect for vehicles (toy companies still made vehicles and sets back then). But instead, we got Total Justice and Justice League :?


Haha, I'm still bummed that we got the L-Ron Despero in the Mattel line instead of the classic villain version.
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