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Costume Contumely – Comic Con Continued

wink, wink

I begin with an apology. My original intention was for this CCI-SD recap to run in nine parts over the next two months. However, in typical draconian and tyrannical fashion, Fwoosh Editorial has told me I must wrap it up with only one more installment. I guess they must need the eZine space for all those Top Ten Polls they keep running….

I have also been informed (very bluntly, I might add) that nobody cares about my adventures in the hotel’s breakfast bar, the vicissitudes of my cell phone service, or whether I was invited for drinks at Jolt’n Joes.

Fine. I’ll stick to the toys.


This morning brings a perfect example of the premiere problem with CCI – you can’t make every event. The Mattel/DC and Hasbro/Star Wars panels are taking place at the same time in different rooms. I choose the Mattel event, of course, but it pains me terribly to miss an opportunity to speak with the beautiful and talented Hasbro designer Vickie Stratford.

Ah well. There’s always next year’s BotCon.

The Mattel presentation has been well picked over on the web.

My take away:

  • 12 characters do not constitute a “Legion”, and
  • I really don’t want a “made up” Red Lantern taking a slot away from an actual character, even if it is named by Geoff Johns.

Geoff Johns could baptize my dog but it doesn’t make him Krypto. Know what I mean? I don’t need figures of made up characters – I have Ben10 for that.

As the panel breaks up I decide it might be a good moment to have a word with Mattel’s Toy Guru. I ask him if the “sneak peek” image of the rodent Green Lantern is Ch’p or B’dg.

“You’ll have to wait and see. That’s all we’re showing today.”

“But if it’s B’dg, why would you make him before Ch’p?”

“I’m not saying it’s B’dg.”

“With this and with Tomar Tu being in the 5-pack instead of Tomar Re, it seems like there’s a pattern forming. Is the line just going to abandon classic characters in favor of the flavor of the month type stuff?

“We really want to get to everyone. Heck, I’d even like to do Dkrtzy RRR. Remember, I’m a huge GL fan myself.”

It does not inspire confidence that he gestures to his Blue Lantern t-shirt as he says this.

After a break, Matty continues with the Mattypalooza panel. For my money the most under reported news here is the hiring of FanGirl2.0 (aka Danielle McLachlan) – brought on to “facilitate the online experience” (read: fix the Digital River disaster). Aug 2nd ordering was worse than ever, but to be fair that was a little too soon for poor Danielle’s influence to have shown up. She’ll have her trial by fire on Aug 16th when Trap Jaw is offered again, along with Whiplash. (There’s also some Ghostbusters product for sale on that date that nobody really cares about.)

Save us FanGirl, save us!

Not surprisingly, Mattel continues to play favorites with Masters of the Universe Classics, giving the collectors of this line everything they want with an avalanche of product and an attention to detail that borders on the offensive. I mean, Roboto has gears that really move, but Plastic Man’s stretchy hands can’t be painted flesh tone? Bow seems to have a nice arrow-less bow—I wonder how Green Arrow feels about that? Come on Mattel, why don’t you just come out and say it? MOTUC is the only collector line you really care about.

Speaking of which, Mattel announced for the Ghostbusters line probably the most fan-demanded figure there is: Louis Tully. He even comes with swappable heads and a removable terror dog “mask”. However they were only able to show us an unpainted prototype, since there wasn’t time to finish it before the Con. Because, you know, Masters comes first.


Hasbro manages to sooth the savage fanboy with music in the key of 6”.

I feel I must make an attempt to bring the community back down to Earth on this. What did Hasbro actually announce?

  • A wave of 6” Iron Man figures- of which, the only good ones were already seen more than a year ago.
  • The possibility of a few scattered, random 6” movie figures for Thor and Captain America. Movie figures – oh joy!
  • Marvel Legends will return two years from now “in a big way”.

This is all it takes to get you excited? Could they have been any more vague? Excuse me if I have more questions than Hassenfeld has answers for.

How do they plan on selling 6” product to retailers? According to Hasbro, 2012 is a “huge movie year” and Spidey and the Avengers will be more than enough to support New Legends. So will it only be Spider-Man and Avengers characters? What about some of our long-missing, essential figures like the Inhumans, Polaris, Agatha Harkness, and Razor-Fist II? And will those movies really be big enough to carry all this supposed new merchandise anyway? The Avengers movie has had so much attention before it’s even begun filming—I worry that by the time it comes out, people will already be bored to death with it. And the coat-tail potential of a Spider-Man reboot cum One Tree Hill is certainly up for debate in my book. So the “return of Marvel Legends”? I’m incredulous.

Let me explain something to you, kids: Toy Companies lie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you had to grow up sometime. After all, Shocker Toys has been promising a simple yellow trench coat Dick Tracy figure for ages – most of you don’t believe that’s ever coming, but you’ll believe Hasbro is bringing back Legends because of one frame in a Power Point presentation? Ok.

Of course, the 4 3/16” reveals were much more robust. New sculpts, exciting characters, 2-packs, box sets, movie reveals, and even the possibility of vehicles like a S.H.I.E.L.D. flying car…yep- it’s safe to say Universe is still where Hasbro’s Marvel attention lies.

Marvel's Greatest Battle?

There is so very much more to tell about Comic Con International. Everyone is there. EVERYONE. Every comic creator, toy manufacturer, movie producer, voice actor, superhero impersonator…

I wish I could share every moment with you. But the only way to truly experience it is to go. I recommend making your reservations for 2011 now.

(Hope to see you there)

To read previous installments of Costume Contumely, click here.

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