The San Diego Comic Con is almost here! Can you believe it? Like most years, it seemed to take forever for this time to get here, but now that it is close, it is like it sneaked up me and I still have a lot of preparations to make prior to leaving for southern California.
Since SDCC starts in exactly one week with Preview Night, we are going to be bringing you some lists of what we expect to see from all of our favorite action figure lines at the show. SDCC represents the largest population of figure reveals for the entire year and hot lines like Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black, and DC Collectibles are sure to make a splash. For me, though, like most recent years past, the line that I am most anticipating seeing is Masters of the Universe Classics. I just cannot shake my jonesing for new figures for this line, and even though it is getting long in the tooth and has a lot of competition these days, it is still my current favorite ongoing line.
To say that there has been a lot of breaking news and discussion about the line as of late would be a huge understatement. We know that 2015 will be the last year of the line as we know it, and it will possibly be transitioning into a re-branding for 2016, if we can get that far. We have been promised all of the remaining vintage MOTU and Princess of Power figures in 2015, as well as some A-list New Adventures characters, so I would imagine that will satisfy a lot of current collectors in terms of what their priority needs are for the line. However, I think there is still a lot of steam behind Classics, so I hope to see it continue on in some form for at least a few more years.
Here is a great infographic by SYNTHALUS to show you what is in store for us:
So that being said, as we make our predictions below, we have a pretty pointed baseline to work with. In years past, character selection could be a complete crapshoot, but since we are under the “complete the vintage” mandate, and there are so few of them left to actually do, we are able to take our picks from a much smaller population. If you read our SDCC Exclusive figure article, this is going to work in much the same way, but since we are pretty sure of the slots that are going to be announced, we also have a pretty standard structure to work with.
To get started, let’s get a list of all of the figures we KNOW are coming already so we can take them out of the pool for reveals. Here is the list by month:
Club Eternia: Flutterina
Club Eternia (Quarterly): Intergalactic Skeletor
Club Etheria: Madame Razz and Broom
Club Eternia: Rio Blast
Club Etheria: Entrapta
Club Eternia: Eldor (teased at NYTF)
Club Etheria: Sweet Bee (teased at NYTF)
Club Etheria: Light Hope (exclusive)
So, taking that list and combing it with what Toy Guru has announced as far as remaining 2014 slots (for both Eternia and Etheria) as well as past history of SDCC reveals, here are the slots we are going to try to figure out:
Over-sized Quarterly Item
2014 Holiday Item
2014 “Out of Sub” Item
Over-sized Quarterly Item
Club Eternia Exclusive Figure
2015 Traveling Convention Figure
Wow! That makes for A LOT of possible slots to be shown, and that does not even count any surprises that Toy Guru might have up his sleeve. So, in the interest of this article not turning into a 10,000-word runaway freight train, I am going to do my top pick for the most likely candidate for each slot listed above, and organize it by the same timeline. Remember, these are based off of educated guesses and speculation based on clues that we have gotten and/or chatter that is out there on the interwebs. This is also just for fun, so take this as the disclaimer that none of this should be considered “Ape Law.” I will admit that there probably aren’t any shocking picks on this list, as all of them have been tossed around and rumored for the show. Are you ready? Here we go!
Fourth Quarter 2014
I am feeling pretty confident about these picks. There have been a lot of clues for the rest of the year, so I feel good about these. Once we move into 2015, well, that gets a lot more unpredictable.
October Club Eternia: ELDOR
We know his coming. His book was teased at New York Toy Fair in February and his (supposed) factory sample was leaked online earlier this summer. Odds: 1-1 (lock)
October Club Etheria: SWEET BEE
Again, she was teased at NYTF with her helmet, so she is also a lock for being revealed. Odds: 1-1 (lock)
EDIT: I was reminded that the 2014 Snakeman would be in November, so I have updated the listing, swapping Tung Lashor and Gwildor.
November Club Eternia: TUNG LASHOR
Again, if you are going off of what Toy Guru has said about the makeup of the rest of the 2014 line, he has stated that for the two remaining Snake Men characters, one would be coming in this year, and one will come next year. So, like the movie figures, that really gives us a 50/50 chance of guessing this one between Tung Lashor and Sssqueeze. Now, I know that the Fan Vote winner Huntara is a bit of a wildcard because we don’t know if she is 2014 or 2015, but I think she will be saved for next year. So a Snake Man it is and in a year of extremely heavy tooling, I am picking Tung Lashor because he can provide some relief in terms of the need for a lot of new parts. Again, anything can happen, so I will be cautious with this one, too. Odds: 5-1
November Club Etheria: NEW ADVENTURES SHE-RA
Okay, while Toy Guru did say that Club Etheria would have one variant, this pick is based mostly on the prevalence of online chatter about the figure. A lot of people seem to be completely convinced that this figure is coming, but I am not so sure. More than any of the other 2014 picks, this is definitely the most shaky for me because while she is completely possible, this is also a good red herring candidate. This variation does have some spotlight with the latest mini comic, so the shoe does (mostly) fit, but it still pains me to slot a variant into mini-sub that is working with a group that still needs A LOT of unique characters. Odds: 20-1
November Club Eternia: GWILDOR
If you pay attention to what Toy Guru says (and are able to keep track of it all), several months ago he announced that 2014 would feature one more MOTU Movie figure in addition to April’s Blade. So, since Mattel really only has the rights to Gwildor and Saurod, you pretty much get a 50/50 pick on this, and I am going with Gwildor. The reason is just that since Blade is a villain, he can be counterbalanced with the heroic Gwildor. So, if Toy Guru’s word holds, I think the “other” movie character we are getting is our favorite Fenorian. I am not going to give him straight 2-1 odds because things can (and often do) change. Odds: 5-1
December Club Etheria: SPINNERELLA
This is another wildcard pick for me because the clues have been a bit hazy. Here is what we know: one of the remaining Etheria slots will be priced higher than the standard $27 price and it is supposedly December. We also know, via Toy Guru himself, that the most likely Rebel to require that extra charge, Mermista, is NOT in the Club Etheria. So where does that leave us? Well, kind of grasping at straws, to be quite honest. I think I remember hearing that the high priced item would be vintage PoP (correct me if I am wrong), so that removes some of the more tooling-intensive cartoon characters like Hunga the Harpy. So that leaves us with a smaller group. On the one hand, my gut tells me that Angella could use that extra money for her wings, but I also think she will be used as 2015 bait for the sub since she is so important. So, while it might be a bit of a stretch, I am giving this spot to Spinnerella because she is the only one I can make sense of for a higher budget. She has all of those tassels from her dress and arms and if they are getting really vintage accurate, Mattel might include a base that will help her recreate her vintage spinning action, and you know that won’t be free. Odds: 15-1
Q4 Oversized Quarterly Figure: ARROW
Trust me, I REALLY want to put Mantisaur or Stridor here. I REALLY do. It is not that I don’t like Arrow, but I think some of the other steeds are much more essential to the line. However, both of my aforementioned wants require a heck of a lot more tooling, and there is evidence that “Arrow” (or a variation thereof) has shown up on the Trademark Registry recently. Plus, most of Arrow can be taken from Swift Wind base, which has not been reused yet. This is not the strongest pick, but my gut is telling me that anything bolder goes against conventional wisdom with this line, at least in terms of budgeting. Odds: 25-1
2014 Holiday Item: MERMISTA
Again, let’s look at the facts about this slot, shall we? Last year, the Holiday item was outside of the sub, but Toy Guru said that they are including it in the sub this year because it is something that people will want, so Mermista fits that as an essential and highly demanded Rebel. Plus, Scott has also said that there is another PoP character coming in CLUB ETERNIA by the end of the year. So, since she will NOT be in Club Etheria, and will likely need a higher budget due to the fact that both her legs and mermaid tail are absolutely ESSENTIAL, I am going ride the Mermista wave and pick her. She is my most wanted remaining vintage character anyhow, so goody for me! Odds: 10-1
2014 “Out of Sub” Item: BATTLE RAM
Well, maybe not all of the Battle Ram — we might just be getting the missing back half since we got the Sky Sled last year. I want this. Other people want this. It is about the most essential vehicle piece still out there and sculpt is done. It would make a good bookend since the Sky Sled was last year’s out of sub item, so let’s finish the job. I wonder if they will include a Sky Sled, or even a figure to go with it, that would be cool. So, more than any other pick, my personal want might be clouding this just a bit, but I don’t think I am alone in REALLY wanting this. The cost would be the major threat here, and the reminder that the Windraider is still not sold out. Odds: 50-1
First Quarter 2015
Okay, aside from the “vintage mandate” and the fact that heavy-hitters are used for the first quarter of each year, 2015 is not as nearly in focus as the end of 2014. Odds are not quite as favorable here, but I am going to do my best. I feel good about these picks, but at the end of the day, we are at the point where no vintage character really outweighs any other.
January Club Eternia: HUNTARA
This Silaxian ass-kicker won the fan vote at SDCC last year, taking down a power house fan-favorite in Lord Masque. Originally slated for a late 2014 release, Toy Guru quickly let everyone know that there was a chance that she would slip to 2015, depending on the timing of production. I am pretty much taking that as a sure thing, especially in light of the statements made about the rest of the 2014 makeup. However, I don’t think will have to wait long (nor should we) for our favorite purple Grace Jones. I suppose that she could be at any point in the first three months of 2015, but I am calling her a lock for the first quarter. Odds: 2-1
February Club Eternia: ANGELLA
Even with Club Etheria this year, we know there will still be a few vintage PoP figures that will be coming in 2015. While we won’t know for sure which three those will be until next week, I think Angella has a lot of things going for her that fits this spot. First, she is by far the most important Rebel that has not been made yet; second, she is the only vintage PoP character from the first wave that has not been announced to this point; and finally, her daughter Glimmer was the February 2014 figure, so it just seems appropriate that she comes now. The Q1 showings at SDCC have always had characters to draw in the PoP fans, and I cannot think of a better candidate than Queen Angella. Odds: 10-1
March Club Eternia: SSSQEEZE
We need a strong vintage MOTU character for the first quarter of 2015 to get buy-in, and I think, by this point, Sssqeeze will be the most demanded of those that remain. I would personally rather see Saurod or Ninjor in this slot, but I think Sssqeeze has the potential to be the most impressive figure of those that remain. He will close out the Snake Men in fine fashion, and since they have been lagging behind in terms of percentages, it would be fun to see them completed before the Evil Warriors and the Horde. The only thing giving me fits is that his arms might require him to move to a more expensive quarterly slot, but if Mantenna can be a monthly figure, so can Sssqeeze. Odds: 12-1
Q1 Oversized Quarterly Figure: MULTI-BOT
I like congruence in terms of releases in this line, and I think those that plan it out do as well. I noted that Angella is good fit for February due to Glimmer, and I think Multi-Bot is a good fit for Q1 2015 due to Modulok’s place earlier this year. Plus, we pretty much KNOW he has to be one of the four quarterly slots and since he is probably the most high-profile figure to fit that execution, there is really no reason to hold him back. To expect anything less than what we got with Modulok would not do the character justice. I expect Multi-Bot to be impressive and I cannot wait to combine them for the freakish Mega Beast! Odds: 4-1
2015 Club Eternia Exclusive Figure: “ALCALA HE-MAN”/OO-LARR
Ah, but the character attached to the name Oo-Larr has been a bit of an enigma ever since the name was registered. I am with the majority of fans as I am convinced that this will be the name used for the more barbarian-based interpretation of He-Man from the first mini-comic. Plus, by calling him Oo-Larr, Toy Guru will get a unique character out of the deal, while still paying homage to one of He-Man’s oldest interpretations. So, this can be also counted as a He-Man variant, and it is good to show that marquee character. Plus, this version holds a LOT of traction with fans, and there is certainly precedence for He-Man variations in this slot. I think he will make for a great figure and I cannot wait to see his more savage roots. This is a pure guess, but a slightly educated one. Odds: 30-1
2015 Traveling Convention Figure: LODAR
In the interest of being completely honest, this traveling convention slot has been one of my favorites over the past couple of years. This execution is for the hardcore fans like me, and it gives us a great chance to dip into MOTU obscurity. Last year we got the enigmatic Enforcer Strobo, and the obscure baddie Goatman followed in 2014. So, if 2015 is going to be cut form the same cloth (and there is no guarantee that it is) I think Lodar is great choice. He has been on and off of rumor lists for several years now, so as we fall to the last year of Classics in the proper sense, it would be great for him to get his due. Plus, most of the parts to make him are already there, so he would not be that expensive. Odds: 40-1
Whew! Okay, my speculation time is up and I think this listing is pretty exhaustive. Remember, these are only guesses for the slots and I fully expect that more than a few will be completely thrown out the window because the logic in my head will be off the mark. Now, I tried to use all of the clues and reasoning we have out there, but anything can happen. Still, I am feeling good about a lot of these slots simply because the pool for what we know they are focusing on (the vintage) is getting smaller and smaller. At any rate, we will know for sure by next Friday, so we can do a postmortem on the picks then. Do you agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below. At any rate, I know we will move from guessing the reveals to ranking them, so expect that MOTUC will be a big part of our SDCC coverage, both during and after the show. Oh, and Club Eternia 2015 will not happen at all if it does not get enough subscribers, so you can head over to Matty Collector and sign up now.