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We Have A Crisis On Our Hands – Keep DC Universe Classics Alive!

Well kids, we are at a crossroads. The fate of our favorite DC Comics action figure line is in our hands. With less than a week to go, the thermometer that has to hit 100% (degrees?) is only at about 40. Well, we still think it can make it and DCUC can continue. The fate of the line is in our hands. Have you bought your subscription yet? If not, go do it now! We can wait… Still need some coaxing, okay – we have just the thing for that too. Fwoosh Main Man, Pablolobo, along with the faithful Ibentmyman-thing and Veebee are out to plead their case. Show you that the fate of the line is just the first thing for you to decide – the collector community is going to be a lot more involved from now on. If we can make it happen. Remember, at the end of the day, it is all about the toys. The TOYS. So, set the politics, the old beefs and the grudges aside and take a look at what we could have going for us. Is there a risk? Sure, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. And you know what – DCUC is worth it!

At the SDCC 2011 Mattypalooza panel, it was announced that Mattel would be starting a DC Subscription through their MattyCollector website. This subscription would allow customers to sign up for exclusive figures that would be released on a monthly basis; regular 6 inch figures and “larger” connect and collect sized figures. Mattel chose to offer this subscription to customers as it was a way to continue to bring DC Universe Classics to customers as DCUC is going to be rebranded at the start of 2012. As part of the rebranding Mattel will be focusing on the current new look of DC characters as they will also be going through an update in the comics.

This has drawn the ire of many collectors for many different reasons and as a result the success or future of the DC Subscription seems to be in jeopardy.

One of the issues is that DCUC is coming to a close as we know it, Wave 20 will eventually end the line and DCUC as it has been. Over the last 20 waves, 2 classics waves and various MattyCollector exclusives and SDCC exclusives we’ve gotten a hell of a lot of figures and we want more. We want to complete the Golden Age and Modern age Justice Society of America, All Star Squadron, Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Justice League from every year, 4th World characters and many more that I could go on listing. As collectors we have an insatiable thirst for these toys and hearing that a line we’ve come to love is going away is hurtful.

To hear that the line will be rebranded and the focus will only be current looks for characters sucks for collectors like me stuck in the stone ages. Sure my kids might like it, but for me I’ll be moving on.

Mattel, in an attempt to keep collectors like me, has offered a subscription only continuation of DCUC via Mattycollector, giving me the opportunity to get Mento, Tempest, Negative Girl, The Chief, Elasti-girl, Harbinger, Pariah, Lady Quark, Monitor, Quardians, Tarantula, Johnny Quick, Shining Knight and many, many, many, many more that I could on listing. I would get each figure guaranteed, I wouldn’t have to drive to 40 different stores, wasting time, energy and gas that I cannot afford.

I drive 2 hours to get to work between 8 and 9 AM. I work for 8-10 hours a day, drive home 2 hours. I participate in family dinners, spend time with my 2 sons, spend time with my wife, make time to exercise and keep myself fit and healthy and make time for hobbies. Weekends are booked with family gatherings, soccer matches, track and field events, swimming, school events, work and everything else under the sun. I simply don’t have enough hours in my day as it is, and to think that I have to spend all my time hunting for figures makes me insane. Truth is, I wind up getting toys off an online source anyway. For me the DC Subscription offers me a get out of jail free card. I get a guaranteed figure from a line sporting a style and character that I know I want in my collection, no hunting, driving, getting stressed. It’s just delivered to my doorway.

Another issue is that unlike the Masters of the Universe Classics line or Ghostbusters or Voltron, is the subscription (or subscribers and non-subscribers alike) is dependent on getting the numbers to get started. And that hurts. It excludes the rainy day collectors or the ones only collecting certain figures. Not everyone is as nuts about the Golden Age like fatsal, VeeBee, IBentMyManThing, SDComics and myself. Not everyone wants to complete the GA All Star Squadron, Justice Society of America, Seven Soldiers of Victory or Freedom Fighters like we do. Some people just want Green Lantern characters or Justice Society and those people are being forced to subscribe.

That is a tough one, I agree, but DCUC, unlike Masters of the Universe Classics, is not completely owned and operated by Mattel. It is a licensed property and at the end of the day they are subject to the whim of the licensee. I don’t know the details but I’ll guess that Mattel has been allowed to continue DCUC in this format, and if not for this approval there would be no DCUC after wave 20. Personally I’d rather have it this way then nothing at all.

But keep in mind online ordering these days can be stressful and disappointing. This is a guaranteed subscription for a figure.

And not just a guaranteed figure, but a guaranteed fans choice figure. Mattel is going after the figures that we as collectors, as fans, as direct customers want. Sure they won’t hit 100% on the happiness bar, but at least there isn’t any doubt as to how we are getting the figures.

Look at the success of Four Horsemen Studios Fantastic Exclusive, fans voting on the figures that they want. The DC Subscription offers that exact same formula. Things like Fwoosh Top Ten lists are no longer fun things that we did to get the toy executive’s attention to what we wanted, but any toy sites top 10 DCUC becomes important in deciding who will be voted on next. Top 10 voting lists become the tool and voice that tells Mattel what we as collectors and direct customers want. Top 10 voting lists what you, the fan, the collectors, the direct consumers vote on.

Can it get any better for DC toy collectors?

Yeah ok, so my choices might not always get made and my vote might lose to another Green Lantern (* red vomit* Atrocious * red vomit*) character. But if that is what they fans want and they get the figures they voted on then the line is a success.

I can’t think of a better marketing promotion than the one that Mattel has going on. Just imagine the chatter online, the forum interaction, Facebook, Twitter, etc. People will be talking about this line! Look at them already, the heated debate over whether to invest or not. When the line succeeds and takes off; monthly we’ll be having discussions about the figures that we want! The ones we chose! We’ll get to spend hours debating with one another about why our choice was the best! The insanity!

And once the figure comes out? Then we’ll spend hours talking about how Mattel didn’t quite get it right or that they did or that the amalgamized too many different looks to satisfy everyone. I can’t wait. More than having a modern Super Powers line, more than having the Super Friends, more than having the Wonder Twins, I’ll get a line where I get to choose the figure being made, this figure won’t just be mine but it will be a community’s. And it will be based off one of the greatest comic book companies in history. And we the fans, the collectors, the direct consumers make it happen.

Guaranteed, delivered straight to my doorstep. Does it get any better?

Yes. The timing sucks. I just spent a boatload on SDCC exclusives, plus there is a ton of great plastic out there at this very moment vying for my money. It’s summer vacation where we are, and the economy just crashed. This is not the time to be asking me to invest. But I did it. I did it within days of going live on MattyCollector. I am extremely excited and hopeful about this line and I will do what I can to help it succeed.


You know, when I started to think about how I wanted to compose an article like this, I was torn in a lot of directions. Should it be a smarmy love letter to DCUC because I love it so much? Should it be rage speak at DC for the deeper issue? Should it be that this whole saga has brought out some of the worst aspects about the menial things that are associated with this hobby? Should it be lambasting some guy with 20,000 forum posts that seemingly has nothing better to do than pass out the foil hats and gather more emotionally-distressed people to hate on a “hobby”? Okay, that last one was kind of tempting. But no, none of those things really seemed appropriate. I took a minute to think about what is ultimately important for me, and probably a lot of the more even-keeled people in that make up the community of fans of a hobby I very much enjoy, and I arrived at the most practical, utilitarian and obvious choice. But what is it that I enjoy? What keeps me coming back? How’s this for some inspired conclusion – it’s the freakin’ toys! When I look at the shelves in my toy room, what brings me satisfaction is what is tangible and accounted for. Nothing else even comes into play in the grand scheme of it all. Do I remember if there were any politics or conspiracy theories or finger wagging surrounding the release of someone like Robotman? Nope. I mean, I am sure there was – this is the internet, but if there was anything particular about it I don’t remember and I will be damned if I care in the least right now. All I know is, I have a Robotman figure and seeing him standing next to Negative Man, being able to see his freaking brain(!) that, THAT is action right there. That is why I love the hobby.

So, since getting toys of characters that I love is ultimately the ONLY worthwhile reason I continue to love this hobby, it makes sense that it is the only reason I can offer that is worthy of getting up on a soapbox. But I am not going to rant and rave like so many that ascend to such a platform, I am simply going to lay out why I want the Club Infinite Earths Subscription to happen: we still have A LOT of collecting to do and we are being offered a chance to do it in why that really is easier than it has even been before. Characters, friends, it is all about the characters that need to join their comrades on our shelves. I am not ready to stop, nor am I resigning myself to fall into the chant of those that would make ridiculous stands on any political, or “bad guy” company argument because that is NOT the point. If you are still undecided, let’s take a look at how much better our collections can be if they continue. Let’s get back to what is important – the TOYS! The toys will stand on your shelf for all time, all of the chatter and side-picking, and babble disappears into the wind just as fast as it starts. Let’s make it about what counts.

I want to see a promise kept, a promise that requires the commitment of both producer and collector: building a universe. Now, I could type out 10 or 11 pages without even thinking of characters that I want, no NEED, to still see in the DCUC line. But for the sake of time, I want to focus on a smaller part of building a universe, the part that, at this very moment, seems to be even more urgent – completing teams. Oh dear, we still have so much work to do! There is still so much more to see and to get, especially for some of our favorite teams that are already in-progress. The real kick is that when we finally have an outlet to get some of those team members that even the most optimistic fan was skeptical about seeing in the line, it might not be given the opportunity to happen. I CANNOT SIT ON MY HANDS ABOUT THIS. Allow me to present to you, The Justice Society of America.


It is arguable that there is not a more important team in the DC Universe or even comics in general. This is where it all started, this is where traditions continue and damn it – this is a team that is just as important to the DCUC line as the DCUC line is important to it. Can the situation with the JSA be any more immediate at this point in time? DC comics is saying that the team is going to be given “a rest” with this new re-launch. I don’t know what that means, but the very notion of such a thing makes it even more important for me to get figures of all of these characters that I love so much. I am giving Mattel credit for what they have done, and for what is coming in series 19 with the JSA, but just for the limitation of time we have so much more to do! And if showing Jay Garrick – Jay FREAKING Garrick is any indication, if the sub goes through, the JSA train will not be slowing down. Can you imagine not having Jay? I don’t even want to think about it! But fans of all eras of the JSA, and the All-Star Squadron as well, stand to benefit greatly from this execution. Give fatsal his All-Star Squadron! Better is the JSA display that includes the Star-Spangled Kid and Golden Age Mr. Terrific! But better still is when they can stand next to modern characters like Liberty Belle, Sand, Cyclone and Damage. There is still so much left for classic, modern and all-era fans. This is how we are going to get them! Ma Hunkel? Never a possibility before, but now… C’mon! Do we really not have Jade? Or Rick Hourman? Pieter Dr. Mid-Nite is such a great character, I need to have him on my shelf. The JSA has stood the test of time, they have always been there, they are the characters and legacies that preserver throughout time. That is what this sub will give us for the JSA: more time. It is a BIG team and four years is not enough to satisfy it. Let’s give ourselves more time.

The next two teams that I thought about are easy targets for this case, and the subscription plan in general. The Doom Patrol and Metal Men as so close. They are so incredibly close. They are small teams, but that makes their current incomplete state all the harder accept. A toy shelf is not meant to have Mercury without Lead, or Negative Man without Elsati-Girl. THESE are the tried and true fan teams that make a comics tapestry so much richer. I saw Boy Wonder post on the forums that he did not even know the Metal Men before DCUC, but now, they are a priority of his for completion. THAT is how I know we have something special that must be allowed to continue to grow. Platinum as portrayed by the Four Horsemen? She could EASILY be the best DCUC female figure ever. EVER. We just need to the chance to get her. Guess what else? DCUC as it has lived up to this point? No chance of getting Dr. Magnus or The Chief. None. Zip. Now? I can practically see them in front of me. We can get all that we expected from these two teams with the sub, but we can also get more than we would have ever imagined. Making teams better, that is what we need. Let’s give ourselves better teams.


The JLA. My JLA display on the shelf is essentially the Satellite team. So, for all intents and purposes, there is really only one big character hole for that team: Elongated-Man. Ralph has had such a hard go of it in the comics, he has been treated so poorly. But you know what? WE can give him what he deserves: respect. Ralph DESERVES to stand tall with Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. He can be given care and respect by the Horsemen and displayed amongst the upper-echelon on your shelf. Ralph deserves to given respect in the form of a great action figure. He can be revered in plastic even if he is not on paper. Let’s give our favorite characters respect.

Ralph also spent time on another Justice League team that is near and dear to my heart – the Justice League International. My first League. The JLI was all about diversifying, pulling heroes from all different corners and all different walks. The parallel between the JLI mandate and what we could have in the DC sub is actually pretty uncanny. JLI gave us characters from other shores. It gave us more females than we ever had before. It added armor. It added humility. It added Guy Gardner! Okay, so we have gotten that last one in the line already, but while I could get teary-eyed about how my favorite comic character (the Blue Beetle) needs his teammates, the larger issue is that our line needs more diversity. Fire and Ice and Dr. Light II are three very strong female characters, and that is what we need more of. In the end, with any retail line that resides in the boy’s aisle, we are naturally going to have more males than females (and more heroes than villains for that matter), but with the subscription, that is not an issue any longer. The DC Universe is NOT Man’s World. It is populated with wonder male and female characters alike, and so many of them deserve action figures. It seems like the DC reboot is going to go back to the big guns, and they are fine, but it is the diversity that really makes a universe worth exploring. That is what the DCUC line needs: more diversity. Let’s give our shelves and teams the variety that makes this sandbox such a fun place to play in – let’s give our collections more diversity.

I could go on and on about all of the teams that still need all of these things: time, respect, diversity and an overall better approach, but this is getting out of hand already. So the last two pictures spring from the Fourth World, and if ever toys were supposed to be fun and visually cool and interesting, they should come from Apokalips and New Genesis. Look at that corner of your display – it is so much fun. We know the designers at Mattel and the Horsemen hold these characters in the highest regard and you KNOW they are top of mind in all of this (Ahem, METRON. And not just Metron. Metron done right, and with his chair). I want the Forever People, they are a semi-selfish inclusion, but I will argue with anyone all day about how cool they would be as figures. But there are only two words that ultimately need be spoken. Granny. Goodnes. I know she is right around the corner if this thing happens. She is right there, ready to give us her loving care. That’s it! Let’s give the DCUC line what it needs: LOVING CARE!

Titans, Flash Rogues, the Legion, the Lantern Corps, Secret Six and on and on and on will benefit from the subscription. There has got to be several characters that you care about included in those groups, not to mention the teams that have not even been given a chance yet. For example:

There are just so many possibilities.

You know, my part in this is, by and large, about the toys. I stand by that. Even if you have to close your eyes and plug your ears to drown out all of that stuff that doesn’t matter, they toys themselves must be the top priority. I mean, THIS is a work in progress – NOT a finished collection. Can you imagine how all of those characters that have yet to come would fill this out? I want to add more shelves!


But, to go along with what Pabs has been saying, this represents such a cool opportunity for us as fans. The Top Ten can move beyond being a fun exercise of distraction to something that can really matter. Things get done in the Masters of the Universe line because the fan community demands it. DC is teetering on this opportunity. That, is so cool. Is the sub by itself the best overall solution? Heck no. I want retail AND a sub for all of my favorite characters. However, since this is opportunity we have, I want to take it. I want to take a chance. There is risk on all sides with this, company and collector alike. The DCUC line has given me so much toy joy and the love the characters of the DCU that I have not yet gotten in figure form so much that I am going to take the risk. Nothing ventured, nothing earned. But, we can lose a lot. It is about the toys and it always will be. I implore you: subscribe to the Club Infinite Earths. Remember why you got into the DCUC line in the first place. Chances are, it was to build the greatest collection of DC action figures ever. We have an opportunity to continue that. Take a chance on DC. Subscribe.


I’ve been catching up on Breaking Bad recently and loving it, and there’s a line in there that, if altered slightly, I think applies very well to DCUC. In the show, the line is: the chemistry must be respected.

Change one word and you have my thoughts on this or any toyline that deals with plastic representations of comic books: the characters must be respected. And you can say a lot about the toyline so far, but more often than not, the characters have indeed been respected. You can feel that there’s a genuine affection for the broader DC Universe lingering behind the scenes. As a toy fan I appreciate that love.

For me, DCUC has delivered in a way that no other toyline has before. I rarely get to cross figures off my top ten lists at the rate with which I have so far. Often you wonder if you’re the only person who even remembers this character that only made a handful of appearances, or that character whose comic came and went so fast that he’s barely a speedbump. But then you see something like an Earth 3 Luthor figure and you realize that somebody somewhere got it. They gave a character that hasn’t existed for decades and barely registered at all in his brief time on four color paper respect.

I don’t want to lose that.

I don’t want to lose a line that gave me a Guardian, or a Vigilante, or a Jonah Hex or Steppenwolf. I don’t want to watch a toyline that had only just started scratching the surface of the Fourth World wither and die without Furies, Forever People, Kanto or Granny. Of course, these days a toyline starts dying from the minute the first wave hits the pegs. Whether it’s the single, perfect wave of NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles or the 2 doomed waves of Legendary Comic Book Heroes, a toyline’s life expectancy can undercut its potential by staggering degrees. 20 waves plus peripherals is a lot for a property that wasn’t thought up by George Lucas. We got the A-listers, and a healthy grouping of B listers, with room for more of the alphabet. And that alphabet–C listers, D listers, the characters that aren’t lucky enough to be Superman or Batman—that’s what made this line what it was. This is a DC UNIVERSE line. I haven’t even come close to getting enough. But the line as it exists now is being rebranded, its focus narrowed.

But those character choices, the C’s, the D’s, the niche characters…they don’t have to end.

Everybody’s needs from this line are different. Some people just want a handful of characters, some just want selections from a certain family whether Bat or Super, some may want just one team and be through. That’s fine. But for people like me—and I have a feeling there are more than just a few of them out there—just handing me a few crayons isn’t going to do it. I want every color, and I want to color outside the lines. I want to finish up the Metal Men and Doom Patrol and JSA but I want much much more than that. It’s a Universe that began in 1938, and despite how many Crises or reboots or so-called relaunches they try and toss at it, that history, those characters, must be respected.

It is, after all, not just a Universe after all. It’s a Multiverse. Pure potential. We can’t get everybody. No toyline will ever deliver every character from a fictional universe. But the possibility of those we could get fueled that excitement for the new wave, wondering if that character you read in World’s Finest or Adventure comics as a kid may finally get his shot at plastic. That’s what made every reveal exciting, and for that one minute the real world and adulthood and all the baggage that comes with it can happily fade away and we could be that kid again.

If you would have told me a year ago that the line would be ending without much hope for a Golden Age Mr. Terrific or the first, original Flash, I’d have scoffed at you with such a mighty scuff that your glasses would have cracked and your shirt would come untucked and possibly unbuttoned. But now…I just don’t know. I don’t like it. Not one bit!

But now we do have hope. It’s not a perfect solution, but with a subscription, they’re offering me something very similar to what those 20 waves have offered: less obvious choices. OMAC. Kamandi. B’wana Beast, Blue Devil: those are the character choices that set this line apart. Those are the character choices that lead me to believe they haven’t forgotten that the great WW2 trifecta of Sgt. Rock, the Unknown Soldier or GI Robot exist. That on some master list somewhere they have the bizarre threesome of Ambush Bug, Wild Dog and Heckler with the word “maybe” written beside them. That they consider one boxset of Legion members “a good beginning”. Or that somebody somewhere thinks that the All Star Squadron, the Freedom Fighters, the Outsiders, or the Royal Flush gang all have perfectly viable characters.

Speaking of the Royal Flush Gang, that’s just the beginning of the villains that this line is lacking. Flash is running an almost solo marathon waiting for the Rogues to join the race. Firestorm is wandering around causing sprinklers to go off because he doesn’t have a Killer Frost or Multiplex to fight. Aquaman is holding a seashell up to his ear waiting for the Ocean Master to return his calls. The JSA are just sitting around watching Matlock because Per Degaton is conspicuously absent. The Legion’s Fatal Five is suffering a pretty bad mathematical error. We have two almost complete Crime Syndicates that only need a handful of members to do what no other line will ever do: finish both eras of the team.

Are we going to give up on them? Are we going to let them give up on us? I’m definitely not. I’ll readily admit there’s not a single character they could make that I’d turn up my nose at. I love the characters, because they’re all products of imagination, and as such they’re as cool as I make them. Crazy Quilt, Ragman, Colonel Computron, Professor Pyg, Vartox and Ultra the Multi Alien, Animal Vegetable Mineral Man, Signalman: they’ve all got a place ready on my shelf, as much of a longshot as any of them might be. I just want the chance to add them. And I know I’m not alone.

*Well dear friends, there you have it. Three honest pleas with only the interest of seeing a line that brings joy to us all continue. Nothing more, just the purity of the toys. Go get ’em!

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43 thoughts on “We Have A Crisis On Our Hands – Keep DC Universe Classics Alive!

  1. No way. I’ve bought nearly all of DCUC so far and I won’t be forced to buy more at higher prices directly from Mattel. Especially characters I may not give a flying crap about. Which is bound to happen. I’m not the biggest DC fan and they’ve exhausted the vast majority of characters I’d be willing to overpay for. Sure it’s nice that the outlet is there but so is any other reliable online toy shop. I refused the MOTUC sub because the idea is flawed to begin with. You’re locked in to get things you possibly don’t want. Sure, you can sell those off. Should you have to? Again, no way.

  2. StrangePlanet

    It really wasn’t an accusation against Fwoosh or just Fwoosh. This was an observation.   Most of the figure sites are on board, and their reason is “it’s about the toys” well yes and no. I think in many opinions there are many factors that overshadow the toys (cost and value not the least of them). There is a clear conflict of interest, but no really claims that these sites are unbiased. I think the cloudy judgement, because of the close relation of fan sites and Mattel seems  pretty clear. The Doc Owen vid on savedcuc begs fans to treat Fangirl 2.0 nice because “she is a really good person.” Maybe she is, I don’t know and I don’t care (not that I have ever been rude to her or had any interaction with her).  I have also heard a lot of “their trying really hard” and excuse making for mattel and maybe those are valid, but I’m not gambling on it.  Listen, if it was simply all about the toys, shocker toy would haves, where are those articles, videos and pleas? Nowhere because companies actions,ethics, and prices matter just as much as their products (or at least they should).

  3. That’s not fair.
    The Fwoosh was all about Marvel Legends, SOTA Street Fighter and Special Forces years back.
    Those lines are all gone (though one is returning) and The Fwoosh is still in business. If and when DCUC goes bye bye The Fwoosh will still be here and doing their thing. Sure, there is a potential conflict of interest, but I think the campaigning for the sub is really about these gusy honestly wanting many many more DCUC. Way more than most people would ever want. But it’s a pure campaign based on real desire for the toys. Not just the desire for content for the site.
    I really hope the sub goes through, ’cause it really could fix a lot of the problems I see with the line at retail. By that I mean the overall quality of the toys.

  4. Funny thing, I have noticed, every action figure website with a few exception are in favor of, if not actively campaigning for the club infinite earths the DCUC subscription. The Question is why? Well I think that a lot of the reasons they put forth in their article, podcast, videos, and post are genuine, but they also fly in the face of all the just as valid and vastly out numbering reasons against the club infinite earths subscription. Well, I think that everything that the fan sites mention ignores a very compelling reason they want it sub to secede. These sites are ran by collectors but at some point sites seeing 1 million or so visits a month, become a business (or at least a source of income) and a lil bit less a passion. Now I’m sure that many will say there are plenty of other lines to cover, but there are collectors that primarily collect DCUC (or any other number of subgenre within the hobby) and there might some decrease in traffic and therefore income.  I’m not saying they don’t love the hobby or care about or questioning their integrity, I’m just also pointing a conflict of interests. Many of the guys on these sites though the add access to Mattel now have relationships with the 4 horsemen, the PR people, product managers and so-on. This can give them rose colored glasses.  It’s hard to point the faults, not make excuses for, or cheer against a friend (or even someone that you just know).

    I’m sure these sites will call foul, and that’s fine. But many of these articles are faith based, relying on hopes, dreams, using examples (like MOTUC and GB) that are different in substance and circumstance, and this means they are less applicable. It’s like comparing a for fistiva to a Lincoln, same company, both are cars, big difference.  While, ignoring, logical arguments, such as economics and past performance (among many many others). The “just give em a chance” argument is a hard expensive sell. The truth is Mattel’s DC lines since DCSH have been a mismanagement mess that has hardly gotten better. Have we gotten some great toys? Sure. But I think at many of us feel like we have never been treated well by Mattel and the chasm between cost and value has only gotten wider and deeper. The Sub just widens that gap and they asks us the consumer to jump it.

  5. I won’t do it for one simple reason which is I’m not going to pay $30 to commit myself to nine figures that will cost $255 plus shipping/taxes/fees. I want the Jay Garrick Flash and Atrocitus but not Starman and I have no idea about the 6 other figures I’m committed to. I belong to another toy club that produces several figures during the year plus convention sets for about the same price. My membership gets me a yearly incentive figure and a newsletter plus the opportunity to purchase the other figures I want at a lesser price than non-members. If I decide not to buy any of those figures I don’t have to. So if a club like this can do it why can’t Mattel and Matty Collector? Don’t force me to buy every figure and I’m there. Otherwise I’ll say good bye and customize what they don’t produce. Probably with the re-branded line of modern rebooted figures once they bomb and go on deep discount since no one but the small comic reading community will know what they are.

  6. I love DCUC, butI live in Hawaii, and the price Mattel charges to ship here is outrageous. Still, these articles almost convinced me to subscribe. I hope the club goes forward and everyone who wants these figures, gets to add them to their collections.

  7. Veebee: Totally awesome display of your DCUC collection! I have a very similar set-up, but I use even more of those white stairway things and flight stands to stagger the figures. Makes for a better view, I think. I have also categorized my figures in a similar way, and I even ended up with the same figures in a miscellaneous category, like you have in the lower righthand corner. Like you, I also have some animals in my display (penguins, cats, a crocodile, Krypto and Streaky from DCD).

    Question: What are you using for Harley Quinn’s “babies?” What brand are they, and where did you get them…?

  8. It’s a shame to see this line die off, but I for one don’t want to have to spend even more on collecting essentially the same figure but with a different head.

    The poor character line up of the last few waves and the constant reused body has finished DCU’s run. Yeah I would have loved a Jay Garrick figure but Mattel decided to make a Black Vulcan instead, oh and a few different coloured Hal Jordans.

    Mattel doesn’t have to go this route, I’m sure that they’re not short of money. If they wanted to keep DCU running they could.

    It seems a bit rough that Mattel is now putting pressure on the collectors to pay up or lose out.

    We lost Marvel Legends and we may may lose DCU, but we’ll survive and another line will pop up and we will buy that.

    You never know maybe Shocker toys Indie spotlight might make it past series one!


    I know a lot of people will not be happy with my statement, but all I ask is an opportunity to explain who I am, and why I will not be subscribing.

    I am a HUGE DC Comics fan and will even go one step further and inform you that I work in a very successful Comic store, and though I am not a rich man and am well aware that I could make a lot more money with the education and experience I have but it is by choice that I stay where I am because I LOVE my job and the other fans I get to meet and talk with on a day to day basis, and this in part adds to why I will not subscribe to Mattel’s DC Collectors Club.

    In the past I did subscribe to Mattel’s first offer at their Masters of the Universe collectors club, it was a very hard decision for me to come to being someone that works in a retail store and more specifically a specialty retail store. The fact of the matter is Mattel is a business and at the end of the day like any other business their main goal is to make money. Mattel makes money by producing an item at a certain price and then selling said item for more money thus making them a profit. It’s not greed, it’s not scalping, it is just business, but here is where my biggest problem starts.

    For decades Mattel has always operated by producing their items with the sole intention of selling them to national retail chains, retail chains would then distribute the items themselves by sending them to various stores and these stores would then sell the items at a slightly increased price thus making them profit. The more items ordered by various retailers would determine the discount level each chain would get and thus determine the amount of profit the retailer’s could make, hence why certain items are more expensive at Toys R Us and cheaper at Wal-Mart, obviously Wal-mart ordered more items year round for all of their stores and toys R Us obviously ordered less, or had less stores to order for, but you get the general idea.
    This system of retail is one of the few remaining backbones that America has to not only produce jobs, but to also to create competitive pricing among retailers.

    Lets take a single figure most of us have seen hanging at retail like the Green Lantern, before Hal Jordan ever goes out the door at your local Toys R Us he has been rang up at the register by a retail clerk, stocked on the shelf by a store employee, unpacked from a truck in his case by someone in shipping, brought to the store by a truck driver, sent from a Toys R Us warehouse where someone loaded it on the truck, and then shipped to the warehouse by another truck driver bringing cases from Mattel’s distribution facility. That makes a total of 7 people who have been employed to bring you that 1 Green Lantern Action Figure, pretty staggering if you think it through.

    Now we all know that retailers make a nice chunk of change on the items they sell, especially from us collectors who love toys, and I am not going to even include how much they have to pay for rent, or to keep the lights on, or to run the air conditioning, or to even pay employees, we all know that is included in the price of items we buy, but what about when the Green Lantern Movie Opens in theaters and every story in a 3 mile radius all have hundreds of green lanterns hanging on the pegs, well this is when the stores decide to compete head to head for our dollar by issuing sale upon sale to get us in the door. This same reason is why stores work so hard to get exclusives, if a toy line is doing well and a store can get something only they will have available, it helps to sell the additional items hanging on the pegs in theory, but it also make the item more expensive because if only one store is carrying it, then that means only one store is footing the bill.

    Now Mattel has made the decision that they will NOT be continuing the DC Universe line at retail after wave 20 and that they “want” to give us fans the opportunity to complete the collections we have already started by offering us a chance to order the “Most Wanted” figures we have requested at the low low price of $30 a figure. Alright lets examine this for a moment Mattel has offered exclusive figures in the past on their website, and we know that because exclusives are smaller production runs they cost more which was why we payed a premium for the exclusives, usually $30 for two figures plus shipping, which is $15 a figure… not a problem and it makes sense, yet when Mattel sold cases of figures just like the retail stores they charged the EXACT same price as the retail stores. Why, they don’t have the same costs that a retail store has, no retail clerks, no unpacking, no shipping cost we payed for the shipping and handling, no extra price to keep the doors open and the lights on, hell that’s already added into the initial cost of the figures when retails ordered them. The only people they have to pay is digital river for the order processing and then to slap a shipping label on one of the cases.

    The reason Mattel couldn’t sell the figures at a lower discount is because Retailers would have been FURIOUS and most likely would have cut orders to the bone or even cancelled entire orders completely in response. Mattel though has seen a lot of success with their Masters of the Universe line by not selling at retail and it is basically a line of nothing but pure profit to them even at $20 a figure for basic figures, which ironically is what retailers would need to sell it for, maybe even less. But that avenue was never an option because of all the problems they had with distribution of the 2003 toy line. Wave after wave of the 2003 line contained case after case of He-Man & Skeletor figures with 1 figure in the case being something beside the two mentioned, this left retailers stuck with Tons Of He-Mans and Skeletors hanging on the pegs, and set Mattel up in a perfect position to take the line in house and distribute themselves with an entire plethora of supporting characters…Sound Familiar.

    So here we are 3 years into the DC Universe line and product is trickling out from big daddy Mattel and I go to stores and all I see is either empty pegs or row after row of Hal Jordans. Poor retailers are stuck with either to much or to little, and Mattel is just waiting it out and biding it’s time preparing to take the line Exclusive, and then on top of it charge a premium for figures that they know many fans have anxiously waited for. It may be just my opinion but that seems like scalping and extortion to me. Listen I could keep going with reason after reason on why this is not them doing us a favor, and is quite simply just a money grab attempt by a major company to improve their profitability at the expense of everyone they have done business with in the past, but I will admit this is just how I see it and you have to make your own decision as to whats best for you and yours, me personally, the decision is already made.

    In closing I guess If you want your favorite figures, well then Mattel says your going to have to pay a premium for it… Me personally, I have to say no thanks Mattel, I’ll take what I can find at retail and you can keep your “Collectors Club” to yourself!

  10. damn. I never realized the Burgermeister Meisterburger had so many descendants until I read all these rants.

  11. Fantastic graphics! Nice to see who we still need! I’m hoping this thing goes. I’ve enjoyed my Ghostbusters sub and will continue it for 2011. Had a MOTU sub this year and got lots of cool figures with a few more to come – like Swiftwind for my Valkyrie! Turning Dark Beast into a Moleman goon, and Cygor is the FF’s Golden Gorilla from some annual, plus Conan!

  12. If Mattel had higher quality figures, then maybe people would be more inclined to shell out money for D-listers. As it is, the fact that they have 40% of their supposed subscription activation service just shows fans are doing exactly what they should when a company releases a sub-par product: Voting with their wallets. For those 20 waves, there have been minimal, if any improvements in getting varied sculpts, or improvements in QC.

    DCUC shall die, as it should.

  13. What I just don’t get is why wont Mattel listen to the fans? It seems like they never do. I’ve emailed them several times asking for single figure sales through their site and they only did it with GLC. Which by the way sold out; duh. this is obviously a great way to sell product.

    Why not release a figure each month for sale with no committed subscription. And to keep sales up make each figure a fan polled figure. How many people do you think would have chosen Black Vulcan over Jay Garrick in a poll? Probably not many but Mattel seemed to think that would work for retail.

    It’s just good business, give the fans what they want and the money will be there. Don’t give us threats that a line wont exist if we don’t subscribe. More people would have probably subscribed if the last few waves had been more of what the fans wanted.

  14. Why do so many people that blog complain? You people are so negative. I hope DCUC stays afloat, and I hope the new Marvel Legends are great, my son and I love collecting figures. It would be ashame if the only thing left to collect are rehashed Sups,Bats,Wolverines & Spideys because the collecting community can’t take advantage of a wonderful opprotunity. Mattel is trying to do something good for the collector. THEY’RE NOT OUT TO GET YOU

  15. could not put the reasons for continuing to show mattel how much we as dc fans appriciated what they have done with dc classics. and should even just now as online thing continue for after all mattel should be allowed to let fans of doom patrol and metal man finaly have the teams done plus if the sub is the one way for mattel to make ragman i am all for taking the chance with the sub . not to mention the new gods are not really going to be complete with out granny for she has just been screaming to be done in plastic.

  16. I’m not buying a subscription until they start producing one female character per wave.

    Women heroes and villians clock in at around 11% of the total DCU line as compared to 20% of the JLU line and 22% of Infinite Heroes line (which was a much smaller line).

    DCU and JLU have nearly the same amount of figures produced, so why does the DCU have so many less female characters?

  17. Nice article guys. I tried to hold onto hope but the meter is at 40 so I doubt it will happen. I bought two subs and honestly would buy more if I could afford it.

    I do think it is Mattel’s fault that so many people are jaded. They continue to use Digital River even after all the complaints. Their shipping cost is not competitive at all and ups the expense to 30% of the figure cost. Quality control is a joke for such an expensive figure.

    While I would like the sub to go through I understand why so many do not want to subscribe. To at least make an overture of getting back the trust of their customer base they should have released a full list of the figures they intend to make, or at least the figure they would potentially make.

  18. well… i can definitely see where both sides are coming from. both sides have valid points. if the sub goes through those that bought the sub will be happy, and those that didn’t can still cherry pick whatever characters they do like. if it doesn’t go through… well no one really wins. its not like “yeaaa take that Mattel! eat it!” Mattel doesn’t care. they just go another route and still make their buck. personally i bought a sub way back, not actually thinking it might not happen, but now its a very real possibility. well… im hoping it does.

  19. I’ve been on the fence about this whole subscription thing from the start. Matty said last week that this thing was slapped together right before SDCC and they hadn’t worked out the details. It shows. Then we find out we have to pay retail prices through the website plus shipping. I was ready to swallow that pill because they’re makeing some figures I really want. Now we find out that there may be DCnU figures mixed into the subs. I absolutely will not support the DCnU. I will buy a figure I don’t want to get a CnC figure I do want, but I definitely will not pay a premium price for a figure I have no interest in when there’s no other benefit to me other than the thought, “Well maybe you’ll like next month’s figure.”. I can’t justify $25 for a figure I have no interest in and have no chance to opt out of when I could put that money towards a tank of gas or food for my family. I love Mattel, I love DCUC, and I want to support them both, but I can’t do it in good conscience. For those of you with more money than sense, I truely hope the sub succeeds and you guys enjoy it but I’m afraid I won’t be able to.

  20. BEEVEE, you said it!

    It’s a shame that they don’t lessen to us collectors enough and come out with figures we already have or basically don’t want and then charged us more ta boot! The Lantern Story too it huge major hit when the White Lantern turned out to be SWAMP THING! If I recall right, not to many of the fans were happy with it and the toy line suffered as well. DCUC CNC figures keep reusing parts to make new figures and that makes that new figure less exciting to some extent. And With DC new 52-FLASH POINT story line, it has both comic and toy collectors throwing up our hands! WHATS THE USE! For the past 5 years of DC comic book buying is now gone, wipped out! DC never thought that this new story line might also wipe out their buyers! I collected 28 DC titles…now I am down to 5! And if Brett Booth leave Teen Titans as artist, I will be down to 4 titles then!

    Even though Marvel Legends 3.75″ figures have taken off, but the new 6″ line will be giving us a way too big Terrax the Tammer! Personally, I can’t stand the ML 3.75″ figures and I will not buy them. I have not bought ANY of MARVEL’s Ironman, Thor or Cap’s movie line figures. I just don’t care for them! But let’s face it, times are tough! If we have to choose between food/gas/keep a roof over heads…something has to take a hit! Even Cable and Satellite has dropped 60% over last year! Look at the movie industry…If a movie didn’t pass 500 million, it was a bomb! Most movies today barely draw over 200 million.

    As for DCUC figures, we the fans just got tired of reproduction of figures. If DC Direct comes out with a figure, why do we need a DCUC of the same one? The collectors DON’T want CRAP and will not buy it!

  21. @Erik yurk;No toy buying kid could afford the sub,just us nerds.That’s why Mattel is pulling this crap.I wish the DCUC collector community would Stop begging,and let it die.Mattel will learn the same lesson Hasbro seems to have learned,namely:”WE ARE THE CUSTOMER.”Give us what we want and make money.Hasbro didn’t listen to the customer.We said, “We want Marvel Legends.”They said, “Take Marvel Universe and like it.”We said, “We like RAH style GIjoes.”They said, “You’ll take the ones based off this lame movie and like it.”We said ,”We like Transformers Classic figures.”They said,”Not when the movie figures are out.”BUT THEN….Hasbro’s profits dropped by 71 percent!! Now Legends are BACK!! RAH style Joes ARE BACK!! Transformers Classics sit side by side with the movie figures!! DCUC fans,TAKE YOUR POWER AS THE CUSTOMER!! You may have to do without your line for a while but stay vocal and DO NOT buy whatever Mattel tries to replace DCUC with,and you might just come out ahead.Either way,it beats begging for the scraps from the master’s table.

  22. You guys gotta be kidding me. Is someone actually trying to convince others to buy a sub based on those pics of incomplete teams. Let’s take a look at those pics.

    1) JSA. yeah, let me pay 30 bucks shipped for a liberty bell figure? Um no. There is a reason this line is dying. Nobody wants those really really old school figs. The drawings alone are an embarrassment.

    2) Metal Men. Three is company. How many do you need. It’s not like they do anything in the comics anyways.

    3) Doom Patrol. Those other figs like the chief and mento would be doomed at retail, why would anyone want to pay more for them???

    4) JLA, wow missing one guy. Elastic-turd-burgular man. Can’t do without him. Guess I’m going to have to buy a sub….(pause)..NOT(in Borat voice)

    5) JLA international. Ha, those missing characters have less support than Obama.

    6) What will I do without my forever people? Oh no!

    7) Talk about bottom of the barrel characters of the New Gods. This isn’t star wars. Nobody wants to pay for these but you.

    8) Freedom Fighters? Are you high?

    It is clear that this line is coming to an end. Please don’t bag the tea of Mattel by buying a sub. I have collected this line since day one and have stopped at the Bane wave, not willing to pay the crazy amount at retail for these. It has been a great line, but face facts, it is pretty much over.

  23. @Stevie;Amen Brother.Mattel has gone from “Buy figures you don’t want to get a CnC figure you do want.” to “Buy figures you don’t want OR ELSE!!” Well,I say it was fun while it lasted.I’m not paying $23 bucks a figure,sight unseen whether I want it or not.I’ll go back to the Marvel Legends for my superhero toy fix.RIP DCUC.

  24. I know how it felt when ML was cancelled. I was a huge ML collector and when the license was sold and then ML was cancelled I was pretty bummed.

    I think it is great Mattel is making an attempt to try and keep the line alive, I wish Hasbro had gone this route, and still do to a greater extent.

  25. LET IT DIE!

    Why should we the collectors be held to ransom?

    I think we’ve all spent plenty on DCU over the last few years and Mattel repay us be making us pay even more!

    Wonder who the mastermind behind this “club” is at Mattel? The world is facing the worst financial challenge ever and Mattel want to make things harder!

    Cheers Mattel glad I supported you all these years!

  26. That was beautiful. This page deserves to be mounted alongside the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. You’ve made a case in DCUC’s favor worthy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.


    Take pity on your fellow collectors. Some of us subscribe to MOTUC so fans of POP, TNA, and the 2002 relaunch can have your favorites represented along with ours. I’m not a fan of those later characters but am glad to help. Won’t you consider doing the same for someone else? Please? With sugar on top?

  27. Eh what’s the point of even posting. Anytime anyone posts an article that doesn’t agree with you are talks negative you don’t put it up and if you do it’s erased. Great waste of time.

  28. I’m sorry but I’m not buying a subscription to get characters that I might not even want. Your articles aren’t going to convince anyone to actually waste hard earned money just because you guys can’t let go. It’s not any of our obligations to continue this line and these articles seem kinda of desperate and sad. I’ve quit buying these lines since they ran out of good characters and started doing the c, b and d list characters. I bought Bane on Ebay because I didn’t want those random stupid characters to complete him and saved myself alot of money. The line is dying for a reason so just let it die. As was said before the reason they keep changing the deadline is because people aren’t buying subscriptions. No one wants to spend a fortune on figures that they don’t even know about or do not want. Sorry guys but grow up and accept DCU’s fate.

    Now you know how Marvel Legend fans felt.

  29. Man not many people want to collect those stupid characters so they aren’t like you and those other guys you mentioned. That is the reason the line is dead, those things just set and gather dust and stop good product from coming in. I can’t wait to see updated versions of these heroes so I don’t have to see these characters no one gives two flying craps about.

  30. Most people don’t even know who these characters are, hell I don’t even know who most of them are. They just set on the shelves and pegwarm. They’ve extended the subscription because no one is buying it. Fuck Mattel.

  31. Boo hoo it sucks they are quiting but if you think the subscription is worth it then you are crazy. Nice article but waste of time.

  32. Never got my Cass Batgirl. Never got my proper Tim Drake. Not going to pay for figures I don’t want.

  33. Okay, you sold me. Make them $18 fully shipped and I’m all in. Okay, I’ll give….$20 shipped, it’s pushing it but I can handle it. Oh no….still can’t afford it. Sorry.

    All kidding aside, I would really like to see this line continue, but unfortunately they are out of my budget so I can’t help. I wanted a MOTUC sub, but I’ve had to change my collecting habits over the last year and a half so subs in general are not for me.

  34. Good stuff guys. Great visuals. It’s tough to be so close, yet so far, from something that has so much potential.

  35. Great job stepping in here Fwoosh.
    I got sub a ways back.
    Hope this convinces some of the fence sitters.

    Please get one of those embeds from (A site I have no stake in)
    I’ve got one on my meager blog.
    It would really do wonders here.

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