I have no idea what to write about Rocket Red. I’ve got twelve pictures to work around and I don’t think anyone’s going to stick through two pages of me bitching and moaning about how this figure annoys me. I like to have fun with toys, but this guy’s a challenge.
Last summer pretty much sucked for DC fans. DC Comics pretty much tanked everything I liked about them and Mattel followed suit by tanking the retail line. When Mattel announced a DC Classics subscription that could pick up where the retail line left off, it seemed that not many of us were in the mood to jump up and ask where to sign.
So I wrote a Truetorial about how I wanted the DC subscription to happen last year. I wanted to tell DC collectors that we could snatch a victory out of the defeat we were all feeling. The MOTUC subscription is still my favorite thing to buy and I thought that the DC subscription would be a great way to wrap up teams, get Mattel to give us characters we wanted versus stuff DC or Geoff Johns wanted, to get some figures that might not do well at retail.
A year later, now that the full 2012 line-up has been revealed, I was mostly right. Of the thirteen 2012 Club Eternia figures, I have happily received or will be happily receiving twelve of them. Twelve figures that are welcome additions to my collection and one figure that I wish I could’ve skipped. I’m not mad about it; twelve out of thirteen ain’t bad, right?
I think the first thing that bothers me most is that if Mattel had told us Rocket Red was coming sight unseen, I would’ve been ecstatic. The Rocket Red Brigade was an important part of 80s DC, one of the brigade ended up a member of the Justice League, and became a fan-favorite character though not necessarily a mega-popular one. The Classics line needed a Rocket Red, it just didn’t need this one.
The Rocket Red that Rocket Red fans wanted was the classic look (& specific character) that lasted for nearly two decades and made dozens of appearances. If Rocket Red could be called iconic, we wanted his iconic version. What we got, was the Ivan Reis version, which only appeared in a handful of comics a few years ago before being redesigned again. The funny thing is that I don’t mind this design really. It looked nice in the few comics it appeared in, it looks good as an action figure, but the problem is it just shouldn’t be as big as it is. This version of Rocket Red would be a normal-sized figure, not taking up a precious oversized slot.
I’m not sure where things went wrong. The classic Rocket Red couldn’t have been done under the restrictions placed on this year’s sub. He’s essentially a 100% tool. He’s something that Mattel should’ve avoided all together, but evidently couldn’t because DC selected him for the subscription and specified that he be in this short-lived Johns/Reis costume. I don’t know if Mattel could’ve done anything about it.
Could’ve they have said, “ok, the Reis one is good, we’ll make a 6” version of it” or was it too late to move him out of an oversized slot at that point? Did someone care enough to try or was just this an unfortunate error that couldn’t be fixed? Do we need to look at Mattel and say, “don’t do this again” or look at DC Licensing and say something meaner. Continue to Page 2…