Well, it has been quite the year for new licenses for Super7 and the ULTIMATES! line has a lot of new series percolating. I know that means the workload is pretty heavy around the Super7 offices, and our wallets are smoking, but that has never stopped me from wanting more. Yeah, it’s a top five.
At this point in time, I don’t think this needs much of a lead-in. We know the style and approach for ULTIMATES! and these are some properties I think would work well in the format. Of course, I have a couple of things to get out of the way ahead of the list.
So, first – I am not including any properties currently owned by Mattel. Yes, I would love to see Street Sharks or Bravestarr ULTIMATES! as much as anyone, but unlike Hasbro, Mattel seems to have the books closed on their properties in terms of being licensors. At least for the most part, and I know there are a few things like MONDO MOTU and whatnot, but in terms of anything that falls within the same basic scope of what they do themselves (like action figures) isn’t out there. Geez, I want Food Fighters ULTIMATES! But no, until something changes that would indicate some of these things can be in play, I am going to leave them alone.
Second, of course I have honorable mentions. Two of them, actually, and they are on here for very different reasons. For these runners-up I am going to say Tiger Sharks, and Dungeons & Dragons (the cartoon). Tiger Sharks is here because I feel like they are inevitable for ULTIMATES. Brian Flynn mentioned that it only makes sense since they are making ThunderCats and Sliver Hawks figures, so I feel like eventually, Tiger Sharks will be here.
Dungeons and Dragons is on here because, well, I still want cartoon-based figures. I honestly think that the fact that NECA is making Advanced Dungeons & Dragons figures based off the 1980s toy line doesn’t put this off the table, nor do I think it blunts the collecting desire for figures based on THIS particular incarnation of the property. But, the ink isn’t even dry on NECA’s press release for their figures (I am SO stoked for those), so I am going to let some time pass before doubling down on a license.
Okay, without further ado here we go, in kind of order-ish.
5. JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS
Jem is excitement. Jem is adventure. Jem needs to be ULTIMATES. This first pick might seem a little unexpected, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Super7 is already in the Jem business as they have released two ReAction figures, and they also have a strong music tradition in what they do. I think Jem has a lot of nostalgia appeal, but it is also surprisingly hip for a nostalgia property. The two ReAction figures aside, Jem has been almost exclusively dolls, so getting more traditional action figures would continue on a cool expansion. All of the character designs are tight and have that 80s glam to them that would make for interesting and colorful figures. I am not necessarily saying to dive headlong into full assortment, but starting off with a couple of figures could prove the popularity.
4. THE HOBBIT (RANKIN/BASS)
It is silly for me to say, “this is a big one for me” because that is pretty much what this list is. But this is a big one for me. The Rankin/Bass Hobbit movie was my introduction into Middle-Earth and the tinder that sparked my love for all things Tolkien at a very young age. We have gotten and are getting some great figures based off of the live-action movies, and I am SLOWLY putting together the Knickerbocker collection based on the Ralph Bakshi film. Heck, we even got some figures based on the books (designed by Daniel Horne, no less), but we have never gotten anything in plastic for the R/B stuff, and that is a crime. I NEED Thorin and Company. I mean, I NEED them. I have the illustrated version of The Hobbit with the R/B art and I still pour over it on a regular basis. I want those dwarves, and Bilbo. I want Gandalf. I want the weird elves. While it might be recency bias due to just getting the ULTIMATES! Slithe, I want the Great Goblin and his cohort. Heck, get through The Hobbit characters and then go The Return of the King. It has never been done, and that needs to change, ASAP.
Whoa, boy – Robo and I have talked about this one pretty extensively during our Sunday livestreams. I want this so badly, but I honestly don’t even know where to begin. There are so many characters who would make for AMAZING action figures, and frankly, I want them all. I mean… there are the stalwarts like Fred Flintstone, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi the Bear, Jabber Jaw, Snaggletooth, and Quickdraw McGraw (El Ka-Bong, please!), but also Dick Dastardly, Captain Caveman, Penelope Pitstop, Hong Kong Phooey, Pixie & Dixie, and Magilla Gorilla. I could make a list as long as the internet, frankly. Could you imagine Josie and Pussycats? What about Peter Potamus? Dare I say, Scooby-Doo? The Herculoids? It’s crazy! We could keep it running for YEARS. Can you see how colorful and diverse a collection like this would be? Let’s do it!
2. MEGA MAN
Yes, Brian did mention specifically (because I asked) during one of our chats that the Mega Man Keshi line did not really land with customers as they would have liked, but I am not going to give up hope. I appreciate the Keshi format, but I cannot help but think that ULTIMATES! is much more in line with what collectors would want for the property. It baffles me to this day that there has never been an expansive classic Mega Man collector line, so this really needs to be rectified. Mega Man in his classic blue, but also in his rainbow of power-ups, could anchor this series for a very long time. However, it is the diverse and colorful Robot Masters that would be the real stars, honestly. I would take the entirety of the classic saga (games 1-11, and the addendums), but something about those first six NES games feels like they need to be the immediate focus. Everyone can come with their weapon blasts/effects as well as smaller in-level enemies to fill out the extensive ULTIMATES! accessory tradition. More than any other property on this list, I feel like Mega Man fits this format the best.
1. SESAME STREET
I have been thinking about this a LOT lately. Jim Henson’s birthday was not long ago, and he is one of my heroes. His creations had such a large contribution to shaping me as a child, and Sesame Street was by far the most impactful. This is one of those instances where I cannot really look anywhere else to marry my love of a property and my action figure collecting hobby, so it would be a first to get collector-grade Sesame Street figures. One of the saddest moments of my collecting life is when Palisades Toys shut their doors, especially since they were in the midst of starting their own Sesame Street line. I feel like Super7 could do a fantastic job being a spiritual successor to a line we never got while also providing us some unique things via the ULTIMATES! banner. To me, this line would definitely need to have that late 70s to late 80s vibe for aesthetics. That goes for the characters as well – of course we need Bert and Ernie, and Cookie Monster, and Oscar, and Grover, and Telly, and Harry, and The Count, and Big Bird, but let’s see some Forgetful Jones, Sherlock Hemlock, Don Music, Guy Smiley, and Roosevely Franklin, too. It think Sesame Street ULTIMATES! would be pretty amazing.
So, bring on more ULTIMATES! lines, after all it’s only money!