SDCC Panels 2012 - Mattel & DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership

Egads, where to start... there were a lot of technical difficulties surrounding getting their computer linked up to the projector, so the flow was fairly off. Since Scott Nietlich had already announced all of the "big DC news" at the Mattypalooza panel there wasn't much else left for this one, thus the focus was on the new Batman line. That's not to say there weren't a few surprises, because believe me - there were.

With the tricky start and fast intros I missed some of the names and titles but here is the best I could, moving left to right:
John Fredreick, Mattel Marketing DC
Danielle "Fangirl 2.0", Marketing
Julian, WB Products
Bill Beneke
Jason, Packaging for DC/Batman
Rubin Martinez, Design Manager DC
Scott Nietlich
Kevin Kiniry, DC Entertainment

The started things off by veritably blowing our minds by announcing they were giving everyone in the room a free T-shirt, and then smeared our brains about the walls with the addendum that we'd get a free action figure as well! Way to go, Mattel! It's been half a decade since I last saw such cool giveaways for a "small room" panel. Needless to say this went over very big with the crowd and everyone was very polite and played by the rules. The shirt was gray with the new Batman toyline batsymbol and logo on it and we each got a figure from that line. Jealously was high since some folks were getting Two-Face and Mr. Freeze but I was quite content with my "cold weather gear Batman" (I wanted it as a companion piece to the figure from first Batman series Mattel did anyway).

To help cover the tech issues John started off by asking the panel whats best part of their job?

Danielle - announcing Club IE.
Julian - Julian's daughter was at a panel and came up to him afterwards and said "wow, what you do really matters to these people."
Bill - anything related to Flash.
Jason - being able to be on the panel, used to being in the audience.
Rubin - seeing kids in stores when kid choose the toys he's worked on.
Scott - the first figure he worked on that was released was the JLU Wonder Pig.
Kevin - raffle for giant Anti-Monitor, and the Action League figures.
Cornboy - showed up to Mattel the first time in suits and ties and were totally out of place, and same thing first time they went to DC for approvals.
John - visiting the Man of Steel set and talking to Henry Cavill in suit while he was drinking a cup of coffee.

John then opened up to audience Q&A and some dude in the back asked accusitorially, "whose bright idea was it to make a Batman that turns into Man-Bat?" Stunned, awkward silence for the whole room, then Bill said "if you like, I did, if you didn't I don't know who did." Fortunately the guy was a fan so Bill expanded saying that it's really nice to work with a mythos so rich and partner willing to let them play around with it. He started to go deeper into the development of the new Batman line but then they got the projector working so it was on to the Power Point presentation (after Scott went to the screen and had to jump and point to which file to open, which was pretty adorable since he was still in full Mighty Spector costume.

Dark Knight Rises
-Bill really enjoyed working on Bane and Catwoman Movie Master figures (specifically the shapes and texture of Bane and the flip up goggles on Catwoman)
-Blueprints from KMart are exactly the blueprints provided to Mattel from WB.
-2013 will go into a trilogy line exclusive at TRU (only showed 5" figures)
-QuikTek online game at
-Movie Masters 3-pack with Begins Batman, Dark Knight Batman with new head sculpt and Dark Knight Rises Batman with unmasked head sporting graying hair and a cracked cowl accessory, all heads are interchangeable

DC Retail
-DCUC'S final series - Red Robin, Superboy Prime plus New 52 Batman and Superman
-There will be two 6" DC lines at retail in 2013: Batman Unlimited and DC Unlimited, already in production so they will be on shelves
-Batman Unlimited, Series 1: 52 Batgirl, Super Powers Penguin and metallic deco 52 Batman
-DCU Unlimited, Series 1: metallic 52 Superman, metallic 52 Flash, 52 Hawkman
-they are doing Injustice figures in 2013

-Every good brand is rooted in story, so the team created a storyline for the toys to follow and "styling cues"
-Came up with a spin of a story for the toyline, and "everything in this universe is amplified."
-Story premises and scenes on each cardback were created by Jason and inspired by the old Hanna Barbera cartoons
-2013 will see a new Joker and a deluxe Bane
-They did show some cool comparison slides of concept art versus final figure

And finally there was the big reveal, via hokey batphone call to Danielle, they are doing a Movie Masters line for the '60s Adam West Batman TV Show. Surprisingly it is going to retail and will be out in Fall 2013. They flashed up the painted Batman prototype for one second and it looked fairly good but certainly in that "soft" style of Movie Masters figures.

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6 Responses to SDCC Panels 2012 - Mattel & DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership

  1. Black Arbor says:

    Wow, it looks like Mattel is actually learning how to keep fans happy. I don't know how many people complained that we wouldn't finish the Metel Men or Doom Patrol, or that we would'nt get both Scoleri brothers. And 60's Batman movie masters? I must be dreaming.

  2. Friginator says:

    By Movie Masters do you mean like the 6" Dark Knight figures, or the 12" Superman figures?

    • yo go re says:

      6", of course. Who thinks "that might mean the 12" figures" when they hear "Movie Masters?"

      • Friginator says:

        That's how they first announced the Christopher Reeve Superman figures. That's how they're listed on Mattycollector. Basically, when Mattel announced something, it's usually a good idea to assume they've already screwed it up.

    • Rustin Parr says:

      Yeah, they'll be 6" figures. After the panel I never saw Danielle again, at the booth or elsewhere, so I'm not sure of anything really. But the image they showed was a fully sculpted 6" style figure. I'm very curious about how many likenesses are included in the license... Just adam west and burt ward? Caesar Romero, burgess meredith, eartha kitt, Julie newmar, Vincent price, frank Gorshin, etc etc etc????

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