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Comic Books, Film
Mattel will commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles classic “Yellow Submarine” will a new collection of Hot Wheels cars.
Announced by Entertainment Weekly, the series is buoyed (sorry) by a replica of the colorful nautical vessel, complete with track-compatible wheels, along with six other cars inspired by the trippy 1968 movie of the same name. Other models include designs featuring John, Paul, George and Ringo, and even one “Kool Koombi” van dedicated to the pesky Blue Meanies.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, Mattel has unveiled its new Barbie line featuring Kirk, Spock and Uhura from the original series.
On the heels — or, rather, wheels — of new “character cars” based on Marvel’s Black Widow and Wasp, Mattel has rolled out a line of Hot Wheels collectibles tied to Captain America: Civil War.
Arriving courtesy of Yahoo! Movies, the collection features die-cast cars for Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Vision, Ant-Man and Hawkeye (with the Black Widow model repeated).
Hot Wheels is commemorating Women’s History Month by debuting four die-cast cars inspired by Wonder Woman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Black Widow from Captain America: Civil War, the Wasp from Marvel’s Ant-Man sequel, and Maz Kanata from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Robotic Industries was clearly blessed By the Power of Grayskull when they came up with their latest action figure — an “Adventure Time”/”He-Man” mashup, combining Jake the Dog with Battle Cat and Fin the Human with He-Man, for a whole new hero dubbed “He-Finn the Human.”
James Freckingham of the U.K.’s Robotic Industries devised the figure, which is being sold on Fugi.me in a limited-edition run of 15 figures. So far, only the Finn figure is being sold, starting at 10am PT on March 11 over at Fugi’s website.
Part of me wants to believe Mattel’s new Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots set is deliciously subversive commentary about the manufactured premise of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Y’know, two heroes forced into a mechanical fight for the audience’s enjoyment. But then the other part takes over and I think, “Cool! Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots!”
Debuting this morning in USA Today, the lineup includes a two-pack of 6-inch action figures based on the likenesses of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill ($30); a Hot Wheels Batmobile with limited-edition packaging ($25); and a 12-inch Wonder Woman Barbie based on Gal Gadot’s likeness (Batman and Superman will also be part of a new Barbie line).
Toys R Us has revealed a lineup of Comic-Con International exclusives that includes a Batman classic TV series Batgirl action figure, a Batman vs. Harley Quinn set, and a first look at a new addition to Star Wars: The Black Series.
The retail chain has also announced a “Collector Vector,” a new shop dedicated to collectibles for “the mature collectible community,” featuring more than 100 items from the likes of Bandai, Diamond Select, Mezco Toys, McFarlane Toys and NECA. The new hub can be found at Toysrus.com and in stores nationwide.
Hot Wheels, whose relationship with Marvel dates back to 1979, is teaming with the publisher for a Comic-Con International-exclusive Secret Wars Character Car 3-Pack.
Available for preorder at MattyCollector.com, it features die-cast cars representing Miles Morales, Superior Iron Man and Sam Wilson’s Captain America, each with is own window-box display with custom art by Jim Cheung, plus a book-style slipcase.
Dark Horse has revealed the previously announced Art of He-Man and Masters of the Universe will also be released in a limited edition of just 4,000 copies.
Produced in partnership with Mattel, it’s the first official art book devoted to the enduring multimedia franchise. Packaged in a die-cut, two-piece Castle Grayskull slipcase, with a foil-embossed cover and portfolio print, the nearly 400-page limited edition includes rarely seen concept sketches and prototypes from the Mattel archives, restored art from Earl Norem, and interviews with the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Paul Dini and Erika Scheimer. In addition, there’s commentary written by Tim and Steve Seeley.
Although Saturday at Comic-Con International was dominated by movies and television — led by Warner Bros. Pictures, Marvel Studios and Legendary Pictures — there was still room for plenty of comics news. First and foremost, the announcement of Marvel’s Star Wars plans.
That line, telling canonical stories set between the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, launches in January with Star Wars, by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, followed in February by Star Wars: Darth Vader, by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca with covers by Adi Granov, and in March by the miniseries Star Wars: Princess Leia, by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson.
“What’s great about this time period is that all the characters are kind of on the table,” Aaron told CBR News. “Of course this is still early on and these people have pretty much just met each and just come together. So they’re still finding their place within this group and sort of figuring out their relationships with each other. Then there’s the fact that when you look at the gap between Episode IV and Episode V there’s some pretty major beats that happen off screen. So this gives up the opportunity to grab those beats and lay them down as part of the same canon as the movies.”
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has renewed its 15-year-old partnership with Mattel in a multi-year deal that expands the toymaker’s rights to include upcoming DC Comics-based films and television series.
Under the terms of the agreement, Mattel will be able to develop toy lines based on the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League movies as well as the TV adaptations Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Gotham and iZombie.
Mattel, which on Wednesday unveiled its full slate of Comic-Con International exclusives, has DC products spread across its brands, from vintage-style Batman Classic TV Series action figures to Hot Wheels DC Universe cars to the Fisher-Price Imaginext Super Friends line. The company also rolled out merchandise based on Man of Steel and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, and the popular Arkham video games.
“Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have an unrivaled portfolio of characters and a strong slate of content across all platforms which is essential to driving our global consumer products business — a business anchored by our long-term partnership with Mattel,” Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, said in a statement. “With so much opportunity on the horizon, we know Mattel will bring the talents of its world-class organization to create and market product lines for fans of all ages.”
Mattel has revealed a lineup of Comic-Con International exclusives that includes Cyborg and Doomsday action figures, the Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile and — get this — a replica of the Caped Crusader’s utility belt from the 1966 TV series.
I would delve into all of the other offerings, like the Hot Wheels Darth Vader die-cast car or the Masters of the Universe figures, but you’re probably more interested in that utility belt (so I’ll leave the rest of that stuff to USA Today).
It looks like Mattel may be pulling a bit of a Marvel on fans.
Variety reports that Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker, has created a new in-house studio called Playground Productions to manage the creative direction of its properties, such as Barbie, He-Man, Max Steel and Hot Wheels. The new division will reportedly oversee the development of scripts for television and film, and control how the toys are adapted for books, live events, video games — and, by logical extension, comics.
Mattel already has one of its properties already in the comics world — DC’s He-Man & the Masters of the Universe title — but given this new push to better organize and monetize its brands, we could see a lot more.
I’m not generally a fan of photo covers, but who can resist DC’s Comic-Con International-exclusive cover for Batman ’66 #1, which uses action figures from the new Mattel line — let’s hear it for cross-promotion! — to recreate one of the great recurring gags of the classic TV series: the “window cameos.” Alas, the collection doesn’t include 6-inch versions Sammy Davis Jr., Suzy Knickerbocker or Werner Klemperer to make the homage complete.
It’s just one of four convention-exclusive covers announced this morning on the DC Comics website:
Each of the Comic-Con exclusives is priced at $10. Comic-Con International will be held July 18-21 in San Diego. Continue Reading »