Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Comics: DC Club Infinite Earths

Advanced Warning:  This is going to be a uber-geeky rant about collecting action figures based on comic book characters.  If that does not interest you in the slightest, you won't enjoy this article.

In case I didn't say this before, I'm a collector.  Particularly, I love collecting DC Comics action figures.  Ever since DC began their line of DC Direct figures, I've loved them.  These were toys you could only buy online or at your local comic book store.

And then Mattel began selling their own version of the DC characters.  The quality of the sculpts tended to be lesser.  But they had more points of articulation, so you could pose them in more dynamic ways.  And they were able to crank out a lot.

But since the price of plastic has gone up all over the world, the cost of making these figures has gone up.  Mattel still releases a few figures.  But then they went to an online subscription service called Club Infinite Earths.  Each year they would choose 12 figures (and one bonus).  If you signed up, you would get one new figure a month.

They did it for 2 years.  But not enough people signed up for subscriptions, so this upcoming year's line was cancelled.

Now, this could be attributed to a declining interest in action figures.  But I put the blame entirely on Mattel.

They were stupid in their choice of figures.

They mostly chose characters who already have action figures.

I love Wally West as the Flash.  But they've already made at least 6 different versions of that character.  There are already 2 Elongated Man figures I could buy, but Club Infinite Earths didn't even bother to make him in his alternate costume, like they did for Fire, Jason Todd, and Ra's Al Ghul.

But there I could get almost the exact same figure for Saint Walker, Larfleeze, the Phantom Stranger, Captain Marvel Jr., and the Huntress from Ebay or any other comic book trade show.

The only novel figures in the line were Ocean Master and Batzarro (not counting the bonus figures of Mesuir Mallah and the Brain).

It frustrates me because I want this line to be successful.  I want there to be a thriving action figure market so that they keep making products I want to buy.  But now, there are so many wonderful figures who will not get made because they did not take their audience into consideration.

It was such an easy fix too.

-Get rid of Saint Walker, Larfleeze, the Huntress, and the Phantom Stranger.  Their costumes have almost no variation and you can pick up those figures elsewhere.

-Put Wally West into the Flash Rebirth costume.  It is novel and distinct.

-Dump the Grant Morrison version of Jason Todd's Red Hood and go for the Judd Winick, cooler version

-Put Ralph Dibney into his white and lavender costume.

-Put Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel Jr.) into his Trials of Shazam costume, which is incredibly cool.

But even beyond that, there are so many characters that have not yet had action figure treatment but should:

-White Lantern Kyle Rayner
-Red Lantern Bleeze
-1951 Starman
-Mikaal Tomas
-A Robinson/Harris designed Shade
-Heat Wave
-Weather Wizard
-Pied Piper
-the Top
-Red Devil
-Johnny Quick (JSA not CSA)
-Jessie Quick
-New 52 Action Comics #1 Superman
-A modern day Lois Lane (not in a costume)
-The Mist
-Connor Hawke Green Arrow

I could go on and on.  But these are figure I'm afraid will never be because Mattel so mishandled their brand.


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