Most Requested Figures: Expanding Movie Masters

I don’t have a lot of Movie Masters figures. I have Ghostbusters. I view them as Movie Masters. I have a “Ghoul” Batman and a Harvey Dent. I’d probably have more, but I’m not a fan of the slightly smaller scale they’re in. That aside, there are more than a few characters that I would buy if they were Movie Masters. But I’m not sure what Mattel really wants to do with the line. I don’t know if Mattel is sure. The Dark Knight rollout was… disastrous. I know that movie toys exist in a weird, separate reality from their licensed brethren, but very little seemed to go right from day one. It’s a shame because I sit back and I can see the potential of a line of DC TV/Film figures…

I know I’m not alone in wanting Movie Masters to expand either. Every portrayal in the above graphic has received e-mail support to be in this column. And there’s plenty more that didn’t make it: Adam West Batman (one of the most popular requests) and his co-stars, a second shot at Bob the Goon, Ursa & Non to join Zod, Devito’s Penguin, Freeman’s Lucius Fox, Lyle Waggoner’s Steve Trevor (really!), heck, even Superman IV’s Nuclear Man got a shout out. There were some red-headed stepchildren though. We didn’t get any requests for Shaq’s Steel, Halle’s Catwoman, or anyone from Batman Forever or Batman & Robin. I can’t imagine why.

The potential for the line to continue is there, but I don’t know how much has been squandered with retailers. If you weren’t watching the line when it debuted, it seemed to only have two figures, a Joker Thug and Batman (with an unmasked chase figure). After a shortage and some eBay speculation, Joker started showing up and proved he was real. A Batman Begins Batman (with a ghoul chase figure) and Scarecrow soon followed. Then something, somewhere, went askew. The figures were still moving (at least here), but case after case just seemed to be a new mix of the same five figures. The Dark Knight version of Batman was packaged differently, but the figure was the same. And then, after enough of the remixed cases hit, things started to pile up. Seven figures got stuck in limbo: a second thug, a second Joker, a second Scarecrow in a suit, another Batman with sonar eyes, a pre-Batman Bruce… wait for it… a Harvey Dent, and a Two-Face. Mattel, a little over a year later, would start releasing the figures on MattyCollector. They’ve all ‘sold out’ so far, but we’re never quite sure how Mattel views a sellout. Depending on their expectation of the timeframe, it could be a failure, could be a success. We don’t know until they tell us.

Is the future of Movie Masters in 1/6th scale? Mattel has delved into Superman II and produced General Zod with a Reeve Superman and a Hackman Luthor somewhere in the line’s future. Ghostbusters are released in this scale as well. Though Vault grows weaker by the day, none of the IAT staff are 1/6th scale collectors, and we haven’t seen any of these in person. From the reviews I’ve read at MWCToys (Zod) and Articulated Discussion (Egon), I’m not sure if Mattel knows what it needs to do to appease the 1/6th market, but they seem to be doing okay. If I take anything from the 1/6th scale offering, it’s that Mattel should be able to make Superman figures in the smaller scale.

But fans don’t seem to want them to stop with Superman figures. The Keaton Batman films rank high on the list too. I have to admit that my ability to resist the line ends with a Keaton Batman. I’d have to own it. But some fans go further. Even though the line is Movie Masters, they’d like to see this line branch out into the old Batman TV show and produce an Adam West version or to finally immortalize Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman in action figure form. I’d tell these folks that it’s a movie line and that’d be a tall order, but they didn’t want these figures yesterday. They’ve wanted them since before I was born. I can’t stand in the way of that. If Mattel can get the rights, I think it’d be worth it.

I don’t know what to expect for the future of the Movie Masters line. Right now, the TRU release of the existing Dark Knight figures seems uncertain again. Beyond that, it’s up to Mattel to add new licenses and properties. I think there’s hope. Mattel seems to be committed to the idea of Movie Masters beyond just DC licenses. Avatar has been touted as a success (the avatar brand manager has been promoted to cover the DC line, and they’ll be an Avatar exclusive at SDCC). Ghostbusters seems to be performing as expected. And as long as Mattel wants to make cheap 5″ kid’s toys and slightly bigger collector’s toys for the movie properties, we might see next year’s Green Lantern film in this scale. And who knows, maybe other properties will make their way to shelves under the Movie Masters banner, and hopefully, some of the properties will be the classic DC portrayals we’ve all come to love.

What Movie Masters do you want to see? Let us know in the comments section below…

15 thoughts on “Most Requested Figures: Expanding Movie Masters

  1. I am a Batman collector and a 1/6 collector to boot and although I don’t consider my self a completest if they did put out the Keaton stuff or any Batman or Batman related items in 1/6 I would buy it all right now sight unseen.

  2. I have both Batmans and villains from first 2 waves of the MM line and they are great albeit a tad small. But something I’ve wondered and then even more so after reading this article is; why is Movie Masters a DC exclusive line? It’s not in the name, but Mattel and fans automatically associate it with DC flicks. There are a treasure trove of Warner Brothers (who Mattel has a very good relationship with) properties just ripe for toy treatment.

  3. I for one would definitely buy a Schwarzenegger Mr. Freeze without question and regardless of price. I consider Batman & Robin one of the best comedies of the 90’s. There’s your Batman & Robin shout out.

  4. Did we ever get ideas about ratios of the chase figures either? Were people ever finding them when Jokers, DK Batmans and Thugs started to flood the pegs?

    I lucked into Demon Bats and Bale Bats in a TJ Maxx store of all places a year ago.

  5. Let’s get Keaton Batman, Nicholson Joker, Pfeiffer Catwoman, Devito Penguin, Reeve Superman, Hackman Luthor in the Movie Masters line!

  6. Yes! We need more! I would really like a Ra’s al Ghul (Neeson, not Watanabe) figure. I mean they’ve made two versions of Scarecrow already, why not Ra’s?! He was the main baddie in the film. Gordon & Alfred are must-haves!

    Also, I think a Christopher Reeve Superman figure in 6″ (or whatever the hell their scale is) would be the best thing since drive-thru pickup windows.

  7. I would love to see Movie Masters expanded and the banner actually used a bit more on actual product. Heck, keep the ‘MM’ initials and call it ‘Media Masters’ so it can legitimately include the TV Batman and Wonder Woman (then again, ‘DC Universe Classics’ include enough modern characters, so what’s in a name?).

    Despite the red in the costume, I think the 1/6 scale Zod came out well and I am glad Mattel is retooling the not-so-great looking Reeve Superman. I love Hot Toys, but I don’t have Hot Toys money, so I am hoping Mattel can make cheaper alternatives in this scale.

    And while I am not big into movie figures, I would probably buy plenty of the 6-Inch scaled MM figures from classic movies — Reeve Superman, the Kryptonian Criminals, Keaton Batman, Nicholson Joker (and I hated that character!), Pfeiffer Catwoman, definitely anything from the Batman TV show.

  8. Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, Carter’s Wonder Woman and Nicholson’s Joker are the three i’d be most interested in getting. I also hope Mattel expands the line into other movies and TV shows they don’t yet have the rights to. For example, how about some A-Team figures, based on both the new movie and the original series.

  9. I WANT SEE Batman Returns Michelle Catwoman she was awesome in that film,Batman awesome Nicholas Joker and Lynda Carter Wonder Woman I NEED THOSE.

  10. I would push aside a thousand old ladies in the toy aisle to get a Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman and a Lynda Cater Wonder Woman…and push down little kinds for a DeVito Penguin and a Keaton Batman. Actually I will destroy anyone who gets in my way if they would ever do this.

  11. I like MM quite a bit.
    But I’m not all that excited about the TDK line anymore.
    I will still get Two Face, but I won’t be super-psyched about getting him or anything.

    That said, I would definitely be interested in getting more movie figures, especially if they continue to let the 4H tackle the figures, as they’ve done consistently great work on both TDK and GBC for me.

    They need to have a solid roll-out program in place well before they do this, though.
    No more crap pack-outs if it goes to retail, and if it’s, no more erratic/sporadic GBC-style release schedule.

  12. I like the Avatar 3D film, especially the story line, not solely it brings a very new sensation but eye opening ideas of humanity. I heard the New Avatar 2 is comming soon, can’t wait to see it again…!

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