Well as we wrap up the year 2009, lets take one last look back, this time at the grand daddy of our collector lines, DC Universe!
In what has been our sophomore year since acquiring the master license to the DC Universe proper we’ve done our best to make huge strides in character selection, scale and variety on shelf and on MattyCollector.com.
In the 6-inch “Classics” line we made it to market with 5 complete waves of 7 figures each. And what truly magnificent figures made it into the line up this year! We got the Doom Patrol and Metal Men started, had some amazing Collect and Connect feats such as Chemo and the the huge 10 inch Giganta as well as some great missing A-list characters like Green Arrow and the Joker.
Speaking of both of these figures, wasn’t Arrow just amazing? With ball jointed wrists and multiple arrow accessories he was clearly a favorite of the whole year in the 6-inch scale. (and to answer a question that comes up A LOT, the arrow that is attached in the bow is not a design choice; it is a safety requirement for toys by law!). And the Horsemen really captured the Clown Prince of Crime. Look for him back on shelf as an All Star in 2010.
We also managed to get to a re-release of Man-Bat in brown, put out Blue and Gold (in both modern and vintage looks), tapped into the JSA archive and kept our villain field filled with some of the most vile characters in all of DC.
The All Stars included in each wave were also a great way to keep those in-demand characters like Superman and Batman on shelf without sacrificing a slot in new waves for new characters.
Finally, one of our biggest issues for the 6-inch was distribution. Ideally that should now be a thing of the past. All DCUC figures are available in both retail case packs AND as “open stock’ meaning your favorite online stores can order any individual figure in any quantity they want.
All open stock figures are built “to order” so any online retailer taking advantage of this ordering program will not be shorted any allotment. (many online retailers chose not to take advantage of this ordering option for wave 9 which is why this wave was a bit hard to find outside of mass retail) Also, starting with Wave 11, DCUC are now available on MattyCollector.com as a full wave set for the suggested retail price of $14.99 per figure. We hope all of these efforts will improve distribution a ton. Everything else is in the hands of retailers who base orders on the demands of their customers!
Infinite Heroes also had a great year with not only a ton of new figures, but every figure released and going forward will have greatly improved articulation, accessories and paint ops. And when taking a look at the Infinite Heroes line in 2009, don’t forget our incredible SDCC 30″ Anti Monitor raffle! Eight lucky fans walked away with a hand made masterpiece to complete their collection while others who brought in 50 points were able to get a free 3 3/4″ scale Anti Monitor to keystone the “Crisis Series” for 2009.
And speaking of which, as the Crisis Series ends, 2010 will see the DC 75th series begin for both Classics and Infinite Heroes. You’ll see a DC 75th collector button included with every single and 3 pack of Infinite Heroes and every single Classics figure all year long. In addition check out the new packaging that will feature a rotating look at many characters from the DC Universe (some of which will even make it out as figures throughout the year!).
Looking ahead, 2010 has some really great surprises in store. Classics and Infinite Heroes will continue strong as we make sure to innovate constantly, adding new features, parts, materials and other ways to really bring your collection to life. We’ll also be launching our brand new vintage cloth segment “Retro Action”. The preview figure Green Arrow is available now only on MattyCollector.com. Three waves of four figures each will be available starting this spring at Toys R US and other online retailers.
And speaking of MattyCollector.com, while we won’t be continuing the DCUC 2 packs in 2010, we do have some great surprises in store. Our November black Friday sale really cleared out a lot of inventory, so if you are still looking for any of the DCU product from 2009, hurry over while it lasts. We may have a few case packs to bring to SDCC (from any unused customer service allocation) but this is never a guarantee. So hurry, this stuff won’t last much longer!
Lots more is coming down the pipe. We’ll have Wave 14 to reveal at NYTF at our collector night on Feb 14th. More multipacks, exclusive items for major retailers and a few other surprises are in store. There are some more A list characters we still need to get to as well as a few teams that need to be fleshed out a bit more. And boy, we just can’t wait to get to everyone’s favorite super heroes of the 31st century…
Finally, a bit of a personnel changeover to let everyone know about. Spectacular Scott Neitlich (better known as “Toy Guru” on the message boards) who has been handling the marketing reigns for the last two years will be heading over to work on the new live action Green Lantern film for 2011 (we work ahead at Mattel…) while Maniac Mike Wilde (fresh off his stint on the awesome Avatar line) will be heading in to take over the DC Universe for 2010. Mike is also a huge DC fan and knows his stuff well, so your favorite characters are in very good hands. Best buds Scott and Mike will also be tag teaming a lot of the MattyCollector product lines such as Ghostbusters and MOTUC so both will be on hand to answer your questions and pop in on message boards from time to time. But of course, Bombastic Bill Benecke will continue as our lead designer. This is a guy who has a GL ring for his wedding band, so we know we’ve got the right guy in place! (and don’t forget the Fabulous Four Horsemen who will continue sculpting all of our 6 inch figures!)
It has been a great 2009 and the future looks brighter. Keep those comments and suggestions coming since we could not make all of our collector lines as cool as they are without all of the fan’s help and ideas. This really is a partnership and we look to the fans for a lot of guidance to make sure we deliver what you want!