Thursday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego, a Mattel team that included Licensed Entertainment Marketing Manager John Friberg, Associate Marketing Manager for DC Universe, Young Justice and Superman toys Danielle McLachlan, toy designer Bill Benecke and packaging designer Jason Langston shared insight into what the future holds for Mattel's popular DC toy lines.
The first line shown was based on Christopher Nolan's upcoming film, "The Dark Knight Rises." Mattel's "Movie Masters" line includes Batman, Bane and Catwoman. When Benecke was asked to pick which figure was his favorite to work on, the designer couldn't choose just one. "Both Bane and Catwoman are incredible designs," Benecke said. "Bane, because there's so much surface detail and texture -- and that mask is just really cool." Each of the six figures available in the collection will include a piece that, when joined together, forms a working Bat-Signal.
Exclusive figures include a Walmart Commissioner Gordon with shattered Bat-Signal, K-Mart Batman with vehicle blueprint and a Toys "R" Us exclusive Batman vs. Bane 2-pack.
In 2013, Mattel's "Dark Knight Trilogy" line will continue on as a Toys "R" Us exclusive and include 3.75" scale figures, QuickTek Armor figures and a number of vehicles. A "Dark Knight Trilogy" 3-pack, featuring "Movie Master" editions of Batman incarnations from all three films will also be available.
When it comes to the "DC Universe & Beyond" line of figures, McLachan said one of the biggest requests Mattel gets from DC fans is "to complete teams." Having said this, she revealed action figures of Elasti-Girl and Poison Ivy from "The Doom Patrol" and Platinum, Tin and Lead from "The Metal Men."
McLachan also revealed that Red Robin, Superboy Prime, Superman and Batman will be the final characters in the "DC Universe Classics" line.
The popular "Batman Legacy" line, which was known for attention to detail, articulation and comic book heritage, has spawned two new lines: "Batman Unlimited" and "DC Comics Unlimited." The first wave of "Batman Unlimited" figures will include Batgirl, Penguin and Batman, while "DC Comics Unlimited" figures will feature Superman, Flash and Hawkman. Both of these lines will be available in 2013.
Fans can also look forward to "DC Comics Unlimited" figures based on the "Injustice: Gods Among Us" video game in 2013 as well as a brand-new Batman line focusing on an original, Mattel-created story and an amplified Batman with "Big fists, big feet [and] a big Bat Symbol," Benecke explained. The storyline will center on a group of escaped Arkham City villains who wreak havoc, forcing Batman to find new methods and combat weapons. "Obviously, what he needs is some cool gear weaponry," Friberg said.
Each figure's storyline plays out on the back of the box and features art by Mike Zeck and packaging developed by Jason Langston. "Growing up, my first exposure to Batman was the Scooby-Doo cartoons," Langston said. "So I knew I wanted to do something a little more tongue in cheek."
The final reveal of the panel was the well-received by the audience news that Mattel would also be producing a line of six inch "Movie Masters" scale action figures based on the Batman classic TV series, available Fall of 2013.