A big surprise in the toy world today coming out of the holiday. Spin Master has yanked the most of the DC Comics toy license away from Mattel. Mattel has has the license for a long time, and with collectors gained favor with their amazing DC Classics line years back. Frankly however, while still producing lots of great kid-friendly toys and helping introduce the DC Superhero Girls line, their action figure offerings have been terrible these last few years. Now, Spin Master will have the ability to produce figures in the "boys' action category", remote control and robotic vehicles, water toys, games, and puzzles. The three year deal between the two starts in the spring of 2020.
Spin Master COO Ben Gadbois had this to say about the acquisition:
Partnering with an iconic brand like DC is a major milestone for Spin Master and is part of our strategy to invest in successful licenses to further grow and diversify our business," said Ben Gadbois, Spin Master's Global President and COO. "Children everywhere have been entertained and inspired by DC Super Heroes™ and Super-Villains™ for more than 80 years and we're honoured to be a part of that storytelling and imagined play. We are looking forward to bringing Spin Master's renowned innovation to the toy line and to sharing more details about this exciting partnership in the new year.
This is an interesting time for mass market figures. Mattel losing the ability to make collectors figures for DC is not as big a deal as some might think. Their DC Multiverse line has…lets say struggled since being introduced a few years ago. Plagued by bad QC and terrible distribution, most figure collectors would be forgiven for not remembering they even produced 6 inch scale figures anymore. The line has improved these last six months, but it appears it was too little too late. Mattel has a hit with its Jurassic World line, and they still have the #1 selling figure line in WWE. They are suffering the same as Hasbro and every other toy company is after the closing of Toys R Us this year. Mattel is also expected to go hard after the master toy license for Star Wars and Marvel when those deals expire in 2020, but I would expect them to stay with Hasbro.
As for Spin Master, this is a huge foot forward. Another player in the figure realm is never a bad thing. If they could create a line of 6 inch figures that are eqivlent to Marvel Legends, or even a new 3.75 inch line of DC characters, they could have a huge hit on their hands. Can they though is the question. I am sure they will at least be asked about it at New York Toy Fair in February, lets hope they can shed some light on it.
For now, I shall stare at my DC Classics figures and think about all of the great figures that Mattel gave us before. Which were your favorites? Let us know below.