As you well know, my geekdom does not stop at the last page of a comic book or the corners of a television screen. Collectibles are highly appealing to me as well — toys, action figures, sculptures… one of the best birthday presents of all time came to me last year when Erin gave me the Snow White & Bigby Wolf statue from DC Direct’s Fables line. Statues are a rarity for me, though, since you need a place to put ‘em, and I don’t have many. The same goes for the larger action figure lines, which tend to put figures in the 6-inch range and are really too expensive.
So over the past few years, I’ve been drawn more to mini-figures, like the Mini-Mates. These blocky, almost Lego-like figures are really cool, using the same basic scale and design for dozens of properties, including both DC and Marvel heroes, TV shows and movies. What other toy line gives you scale-appropriate renditions of Superman, Captain America, ZOMBIE Captain America, Marty McFly, Jack Bauer, Frodo a Cylon, and Mr. Pink? It’s awesome.
But recently, Mattel launched a new line of DC Universe toys that has stolen my interest. DC Universe Infinite Heroes is a line that promises to launch over 50 characters in the first year, cast in a 3.75-inch scale, similar to the G.I. Joe and Star Wars toys folks my age grew up with. I picked up three of the figures yesterday, Adam Strange, Guy Gardner, and Professor Zoom. (The quarter behind Guy is there to give you an idea of scale.) While not as wildly articulated or detailed as some of the larger figures (these three, in fact, all seem to be based on the same body mold with things like helmets, belts and Guy’s vest added on to it), but their small size makes them ideal for someone like myself who wants to assemble a lot of figures without breaking the bank. What’s more, the fact that there can be so many figures in the line allows Mattel to put out a lot of characters who may not otherwise have made the cut. Would you have expected to see an Adam Strange figure on the shelf otherwise?
The first wave of figures is out now, and in addition to the three figures I’ve got there, it also includes singles of the Atom, the original Captain Marvel (marketed, as always, as “Shazam”!) and the villains Black Adam and Black Hand. There are also several three-packs, including a collection of the Flash and his enemies Mirror Master and Weather Wizard, Commissioner Gordon and two Gotham City SWAT team members, a pack with Superman, Supergirl and Wonder Girl, and a pack with Starfire, Raven, and Captain Boomerang. Finally, there’s a Green Lantern-based six-pack that includes Guy Gardner (I don’t know if it’s the same Guy as the single figure) “Green Power Glow” Hal Jordan, John Stewart, a Manhunter robot, a battle-damaged Manhunter robot, and one of the vile Weaponers of Qward. Needless to say, I want them all.
There’s also a line of figures (also by Mattel) in the same scale based on a little movie called The Dark Knight. These include a Bruce Wayne with Batman cowl and two-packs of Batman and the Scarecrow, Batman and one of the Joker’s henchmen and, the hardest one to find, Batman and the Joker. Each of these four Batman figures is slightly different, and the only one that actually uses the design of the movie costume is the Joker two-pack, which flew off the shelves along with everything else featuring Heath Ledger’s likeness. If anyone happens to stumble across one of these, let me know. I’ve got my fingers crossed, because there’s supposed to be a second push of Dark Knight toys now that the movie is out, including lots of new stuff. I’m guessing the reason they actually held back some toys until after the release of the film is because they intend to put out a figure of Harvey Dent, and they didn’t want to spoil the movie’s ending. (Even though for most hardcore comic fans, what happens to Harvey isn’t too big a surprise.)
So anyway, I’ve found yet another obsession. See you in the toy aisle.
August 8 Update:
My Infinite Heroes army has expanded. Click here: DC Infinite Heroes II!