Most Requested Figures: DC Classics Arkillo (Poll)

Sometimes as toy collectors, we can look acro- Hold up. We’re interrupting our regularly scheduled MRF for a late special edition. I had another article for today. It was for a character that, at the very least, should’ve already had a DC Direct figure or even a JLU figure from Mattel by now. It was a character that’s over sixty years old and though he’s never been a front-liner, he’s always top of mind when you think of Golden Agers. But I decided against running it today.

I’m not up to championing a “Classic” character right now. I’m not against older characters – we featured Mera in this very article last week. And we’ll likely feature our mystery Golden Age character next week, but I want to do someone “new” today. The way I see it, a brand new character can see a sudden surge in popularity (similar to how Mera, a “classic”, has shot up the ranks since Blackest Night began). I believe that “current level of popularity” should be treated as an “X” factor and weighed against things like “no. of appearances” and “years published” when it comes to deciding toy lineups. But, I know we comic fans can be a fickle readership. For many of us, certain characters become like family and we become less interested in the new and seek the familiar.

While I have my cherished favorites, I still think there has to be fresh blood now and again. I have to remember to look for new characters to get excited about. And sometimes I find that the new characters can end up more ‘deserving’ (if such a thing actually existed) of an action figure than some of the other tried-and-true “classic” characters. I believe that’s true for our subject today.

Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night have been a huge success for DC Comics. Geoff Johns is changing the face of the Green Lantern mythos, and he’s doing it without much uprest. That’s impressive. The Sinestro Corps is a hit. Atrocitus, Larfleeze, and Saint Walker seemed to be instant fan favorites. And even if you’re so curmudgeony that you’re convinced we’re just in these rainbow lantern’s fifteen minutes, you have to admit, it’s a fiery hot fifteen minutes.

With DC Classics working in a few Sinestro Corps characters and DC Direct nearing its announcement of the fifth Blackest Night wave, these characters are getting some fair representation on toy shelves already. Despite the avalanche of BN figures, a big piece is still not on the schedule. Sinestro’s right-hand man: Arkillo. Between DC Direct and Mattel, I have to say that I’d like to see him as a C&C next spring rather a DC Direct release, so this is officially a DC Classics request.

If you’ve been reading comics longer than I have, you might be thinking, “hey, he’s not a classic! It’s DC Classics, Noisy”. And if the title were to be taken literally, I’d be in for some trouble. Luckily, the term “Classics” is merely a marketing banner that invokes “Marvel Legends”. A toy line that put Iron Man and Xorn on my shelf. DC Classics handles the classic/modern balance similarly. I can equally enjoy DCUC figures of the modern Mr. Terrific and the classic Dr. Fate. Both are front-and-center on my shelf – they’re two of my favorite characters.

Length of publishing time or number of appearances are brought by up champions of older characters. But these are not legitimate qualifiers of importance by themselves. They do play an important role – even in past editions of this article. We’ve asked Mattel for Martian Manhunter (1955), Zebra Batman (1960), Toyman (1943), Swamp Thing (1971), Bruce Wayne (1937), and Mera (1963). But age is no guarantee. While every character has his hardcore fans, there’s not a lot of clamor for every old character. Blue Snowman (1946) and J. Wilbur Wolfingham (1946) don’t exactly have fans chomping at the bit for their plastic enshrinement. They never hit the big time.

But Arkillo, in his three short years, has already gathered a strong fanbase. He’s an instant classic, if you will. Blue Snowman could never claim that. Had there been a DCUC toyline in the Golden Age, she probably wouldn’t have been included. But Arkillo can make the cut right now. The popularity is there and it’s making up for his brief history. But what makes Arkillo’s twenty-some-odd comic appearances memorable? I don’t know. Even I have to admit that he hasn’t done a lot.

Arkillo’s biggest selling point is probably his look. He’s essentially the Sinestro Corps equivalent of Kilowog, a long-time Green Lantern fan-favorite. Like Kilowog, he’s the trainer for new recruits. But if you fail his trials, you’re not a poozer – you’re food. So far, he’s eaten a lot of bad recruits and slow Qwardians. He’s fought Kilowog, but the battle was interrupted before we could see an outcome. He fought Mongul and lost his tongue for his trouble, but he wears it as a necklace, so props for that. Not enough for you? That’s okay. I don’t think it’s a substance issue either. I think Arkillo is propped up by what his fans feel he could be. And I think we’ll see that come to fruition in future issues. Maybe during Blackest Night. Maybe after. That’s not a reason to skip over him if you can strike while the iron is hot.

Arkillo might not be a sacred character from your childhood, but he might end up being one from someone else’s childhood someday. I think we forget that when we focus on our own favorites. If our favorites were less popular, we’d want a bone tossed our way. We should wish the same for others too. Some fans have been waiting on Spectre and Dr. Mid-Nite for half a century. Other have been wanting Cyclotron and Golden Pharoah for a quarter centruy. Still others are waiting on Connor Hawke and Kyle Rayner. And finally, some fans have been waiting ten minutes for Arkillo and Blue Beetle III. It may not feel like it, but all those wait times are equal. Mattel’s not doing this in order. If they were, we’d all have to stand aside for the Scoop Scanlon and Chuck Dawson fans. (Speaking of, where is my Zatara!? The G. Ghost buck is perfect…).

Anyway, it’s the nature of the beast. Each new fan brings new childhood favorites. DC Classics is the end-all, be-all DC toy line for me. I’m sure there are some wacky, super-articulated, holofigs in the future, but screw that. It’s now or never for me. And that means there needs to be room for everyone’s childhood favorites. If you’re a newer fan, don’t dismiss the old stuff. There’s a wealth of sacred treasures going all the way back to the beginning of comics to be explored (Did you Google Blue Snowman yet?). If you’re an older fan that doesn’t like the legacy/new stuff – you should try to foster love for your favorite characters without knocking the new ones (I like the crabmask, okay?).

A full DC Universe shelf will need Mera. It will need Arkillo. And it will need Crimson Avenger too (Doh, I spoiled next week…).

38 thoughts on “Most Requested Figures: DC Classics Arkillo (Poll)

  1. You make a good case for newer characters deserving respect, but the flipside is that some of the newer characters have no staying power and companies can end up making figures no one cares about in the long run. DC Direct has ended up in that predictament before with tick-tock Hourman, Tomorrow Woman, Hush, Preacher, any of the ABC/Wildstorm figures. There should be a moratorium of at least a few years on a character to avoid duds.

    I look forward to your Crimson Avenger article next week.

    1. I do agree with you in principle, but I disagree with some of your choices.

      -Tomorrow Woman seems to have a cult following with the right people – she pops up now and again and usually in good stories.
      -“Tick-Tock” Hourman, as you call him, was a great character that saw his time cut short because of bad writing and nostalgia. That’s a can of worms with me there.

      I’d love to get DC Classics of both!

  2. This is in a little bit different of a tone here. I like it. But I’d like it more if you took it further too.

    1. I’m probably too measured to take it further. I just get tired of people spewing the “older characters deserve…” and “I’ve been reading comics for longer…” drivel.

      What gets me most about the attitude is that anyone who has it had to be accepting new stuff at one point, and then saw that part of the fanbrain turn off so they could start promoting the older stuff over anything new.

      I just like new. I can’t help it.

  3. I think Vice is dead in the latest GLC comic? but when it comes to newer characters i have no problem mixing them into a wave with older more classic characters. there are still so many that have yet to be made (yes the Manhunter) but in the end we need to just have a proper balance. i want Jason Todd, and i think he has some really interesting variant possibilities. Jason Todd Hush, Jason Todd Red Hood (Winick)Jason Todd Red Robin, and last and certaintly least Jason Todd Red Hood (Morrison). if they can make cyclotron than can make anyone in my book

    1. The main reason is that it’s safe to assume a DCUC one will build around the Kilowog body, and though it may be too big, they’d look great together.

  4. Great request! I would love to see Arkillo as a CnC…in fact it would have been really sweet had Mattel planned him for wave 12 to follow right after Killowog.

  5. Yes to all of them, but especially Arkillo, Mongul, and Warth. I’d love to see the 4H version of Warth.

  6. I think this was more an article in response to the Costume Contumelies over at the Fwoosh, but great choice of Blackest Night as the yin to their yang. I completely agree that sometimes newer stuff takes precedence over old stuff.

    Great line about them being done in order too! Who the heck is Scoop Scanlon??

  7. Love your graphics!

    I’d rather see DCUC for Arkillo too. It looks like they nailed Kilowog and I don’t think DCD would do something like Mongul again.

  8. not to be a nitpicker, but bruce wayne’s first appearance was in ’39, not ’37… superman didn’t debut until 1938, so it’s impossible for batman to predate him, when superman was the reason he was created.

    ok, I guess I was being a nitpicker… but what do you expect!

    that said, I’d love an arkillo it’s a reasonably easy C&C to make, since the kilowog body will work with only a few modifications. now… to include the tongue necklace or not is a big question…

    1. it’s a “collector’s line” so damned skippy we’re expecting the tongue necklace!!

  9. I’d love to see an Arkillo. He’s got a great look and has had some fun scenes in GL and GL corps lately. I think he’s the most prominent member of the Sinestro Corps in terms of screen time after Kryb and maybe Karu-Sil. I’d prefer a DCUC version as well because if it gets done in DCD, I’ll have to transplant some parts to a more articulated base.

    1. I think you’re right about his level of importance too, especially after the Mongul storyline.

      LOL. Your reasoning for him being a DCUC makes sense.

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