It's the end of the year, and that usually means there isn't a whole lot going on in the toy world. Once the holidays pass, most of the big releases and news updates are held off until the new year begins. Fortunately for you toy-lovers, there just so happened to be some intriguing releases and updates on the future of DC Comics toys this past week. It's the last Important Toy News of 2018. Saddle up.
Mattel's Multiverse of Misfortune
This week, Bloomberg revealed a major shakeup was coming regarding the DC Comics license Mattel has held since 2015. When the deal ends in 2020, Mattel will no longer have the license for boy's action toys, remote control vehicles, water toys, or games and puzzles. Once the 2020 fiscal calendar rolls over, Spin Master will be taking over all those categories. That means the end of the DC Comics Multiverse action figure line is just around the corner, and is coming at a time when Mattel had seemingly finally got the collector line on track.
Mattel will be holding onto its toy lines aimed at young girls, such as the DC Super Hero Girls, but DC Comics fans will once again be left wondering if there will be anything worthwhile available at retail for the more mature collector. DC Collectibles is great, but it's a much more limited, and pricier, collection of figures with varying consistency wave to wave. Import figures, like those from Figuarts or Medicom, will still be around, but those aren't exactly budget-friendly either.
Spin Master has yet to delve into the action figure market to compete with the likes of Hasbro and Mattel, so it will certainly be interesting to see what the company behind Hatchimals and Paw Patrol can do. Interestingly, Hasbro's license for Star Wars and Marvel also runs out in 2020, meaning Mattel might make a play for both of those brands. That said, given how strong the sales and relationship between Hasbro and Disney has been for those two juggernauts, it seems unlikely they'll be changing hands in just a few years.
It's a major shame that Mattel is losing out on DC at such a crucial moment for its action figure lines. There were a lot of wonderful Multiverse figures shown off during the conventions of 2018, and with just one year until the deal is up, it's anyone's guess as to whether or not any of those will see the light of day.
Can't Get Enough Aquaman
With all the Mattel/DC news, it might be a good time to get in on the company's current offerings before the collector-friendly figures and dolls vanish from shelves. Lucky for us there just so happens to be a tentpole DC Universe movie out right now that's dominating the box office in Aquaman. That means there are plenty of Aquaman-related toys on shelves to continue the hype train after exiting the theater.
The Aquaman Multiverse wave is a nice, simple collection of six-inch figures based on the characters from the film. Aquaman, Mera, Black Manta, and Orm all get some attention, but Black Manta is the clear runaway best figure in the bunch. The sculpt and articulation excellent. Aquaman and Mera have strong bodies, but the portraits aren't as effective as they could be. Still, these could be the last Aquaman figures at mass market for a long time, and overall, the line looks good for $20 a figure.
For those of you with a more regal collection, there are two wonderful Mera dolls out now as well. One features the powerful future queen of Atlantis in her more traditional green costume and crown, with some bold red locks to make the figure really pop on a shelf. The likeness is also a much better representation of Amber Heard than the Multiverse figure.
If you're looking for something a bit more dignified, Mera can also be found in doll form in her elaborate jellyfish gown. Though not quite as intricately detailed as the one she wears in the film, this doll does capture a bit of that Atlantean couture designers would kill to have on dry land. Both dolls are out now for $30 (standard) or $20 (gown).
The World's Waiting For You
Continuing its fine tradition of excellent DC Comics statues from various eras and iterations, Tweeterhead will be bringing the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman to life with a brand new piece next year. Going up for pre-order today for $259.99, the Wonder Woman, Season One maquette captures the Amazonian hero in all her statuesque glory in an iconic power pose.
Two versions of the piece do exist, with one exclusive edition having a skirt instead of the tights, however that skirt edition is already sold out from advanced pre-orders. Even though that version might be gone, the one with tights still looks great. The likeness is strong, and the details throughout the costume are terrific. It may have taken 40 some-odd years, but at least the world is finally getting the Wonder Woman TV show collectibles it deserved.