In our first two Top Tens, there was some (maybe misplaced) optimism. MOTUC could possibly go on beyond 2015. Star Wars Black has a shot to be “the” line to collect the next few years. Today’s Top Ten has nothing to do with anything like that. With the last five figures slated to be released on Mattycollector in 2014, we can offically stuck a fork in DC Universe Classics*. And that means it’s time to reassess. To take a look at our sprawling DC Collections and do the thing collectors seem to love, staring a giant shelf of toys and seeing… who’s not there.
* – Call me foolish, but I’m still hopeful that those DC bucks can find a way to limp along. Looking at JLU & MOTUC, I’m sure Mattel’s game, but I’m not so sure that DC would want to play ball. They kinda suck like that.
These lists aren’t necessarily a list of the ten (twenty) most popular characters Mattel skipped over for DC Classics or even one we expect a lot of folks to agree with like the two previous. It’s also not geared to give even one iota of concern if “DC Direct” had made a particular figure or not. I don’t care about that anymore than I care if there was a Super Powers or JLU figure. It was a free-for-all and I told Vault to just pick the ten figures he really wanted on the shelf. He did. I’ve seen his list and I would buy all of his picks, and I’m sure he’d buy all of mine, but my list morphed a bit into something different after he & I talked. I decided to exclude characters that had already been made, but in a different costume (mostly, you’ll see). I might do another Top Ten later just for alternate costumes on released characters. That might be fun…. for another day. Let’s get on to the list!
|Noisy No. 10 – Aztek & Zauriel!||Vault No. 10 – Alternate Supermen & Batmen!|
|I’m already cheating, I know. I just couldn’t chop the Morrison Baby in half. I’ve been reading comics for thirty years, but Morrison’s JLA run is still one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever read and we didn’t get near enough toys from it. My JLU Aztek and TJ Zauriel still stand proud on my shelves, but articulated Classics of this 90s pair is still a huge want.||I’m glad to say, aside from one particular Green Lantern, DC Classics was a line of mostly unique characters. Don’t get me wrong; I am truly happy about that fact, but DC’s big two suffered a bit because of it. Bats fared better because of his short lived sub-line, but great versions like Kingdom Come, One Million, Earth 1, etc. never happened & my shelves are sadder for it.|
|Noisy No. 9 – Phantom Girl!||Vault No. 9 – Doc Magnus & The Chief!|
|I could’ve picked any Legion girl for this spot, but I’m partial to Phantom Girl (or Apparition, if you prefer). I get Mattel’s caution, the Legion is a huge rabbit hole even if you’re just reading the comics & not trying to make toys, but only one lady in that giant Legion set was a poor showing. Admittedly, I can’t pick who I would’ve left out for her either, but that doesn’t make it right.||I’m putting these two together because they’re in a similar situation. Both characters are the “leaders” of their group, but are just mere, apparently uninteresting, mortals. This apparently precluded them from selling in an “adult collector” line. Even the failed subscription didn’t bother with them and now my Doom Patrol and Metal Men will forever be little incomplete.|
|Noisy No. 8 – The Ray!||Vault No. 8 – Oracle!|
|I think, out of everyone on my Top Ten, this is my most indulgent pick, even more so that Aztek or Zauriel. The Ray was a fun 90s dalliance & GA legacy character and I loved it. Particularly that “Legacy” bit. It’s a shame DC doesn’t want to tell stories about them anymore, but I digress. The Ray is just one of those toyetic designs that would’ve looked great in Classics.||A major part of Barbara Gordon’s career took place behind a computer instead of a mask. As Oracle, she not only ran interference and research for the Bat Family, but she helped coordinate the efforts of most of DC’s major heroes and ran her own super team, the Birds of Prey. It’s a shame she wasn’t recognized as Oracle in the Classics line.|
|Noisy No. 7 – Stephanie Brown (Um, Any?)!||Vault No. 7 – Warlord!|
|This is one character that I wonder about ever coming up in the Mattel offices. DC was really big about disavowing here for the line’s heyday, so approval might not have been easy to come by. We did get a great DCD Batgirl version, but I feel like a Spoiler would’ve fit well in Classics (most of the Bat-family got figures after all). Honestly, I would really love a figure of her as Robin.||Warlord pains me on two different fronts. Not only is he a great silver age character that deserved a spot in this line, but he also would have made a perfect tie-in to MOTU Classics. In 1982 Remco Toys produced a line of Warlord figures that was heavily inspired by the original MOTU style. A modern SDCC two-pack with both DC & MOTU Classics would have been an awesome homage.|
|Noisy No. 6 – Vigilante!||Vault No. 6 – Trickster!|
|While I love Marvel Legends, I prefer the DC aesthetic that the 4H crafted. It looks fantastic, but the need for part reuse kept us from getting some truly unique figures. Vigilante here is one great example. This GAer would’ve lent some nice western spice to our shelves, but figures like him, the Shining Knight, or the Viking Commando couldn’t seem to get the time of day.||The Flash Rogues a sore subject for a lot of collectors. While Batman’s Rogues fared well, Barry & Wally’s did not. Only a couple made it into the line despite hundreds of chances. Then again, had Trickster made it into the line in those later years, we might not have gotten the right version. Yep, I’m looking at you Captain Boomerang.|
Continue to Page 2 for our Top Fives!