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Mattel's got its hands on the toughest toys in the industry

By ANDREW KARDON     July 11, 2002

He-Man in his 2002 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE incarnation
© 2001 Mattel, Inc.

Well, how about that. Mattel is quickly getting its claws on the roughest, buffest action figures in the market. Apparently they weren't content with just bringing back the sword-wielding He-Man and his armored Eternian pals. Uh uh. They had to go and strike a licensing deal with Warner Bros.

Besides putting out toys, vehicles, dolls, you-name-it, on those zany Looney Tunes characters, Mattel snagged the rights for BATMAN, SUPERMAN and the friggin' JUSTICE LEAGUE. The crossover potential alone is insane!

Picture it: He-Man's trapped in Castle Grayskull, as Skeletor pokes and jabs him with his skull-encrusted staff. (Er...that didn't come out right, but you get the picture.) So who should come crashing through the wall to save him? Is it MAN-AT-ARMS? Hellz no! The head-butting RAM-MAN? Fat chance! Why it's none other than Superman to the rescue! Yahoooie!

And man, those Mattel toy summer picnics would be a hoot too. He-Man hitting on Barbie. Green Lantern turning the potato salad green. Wonder Woman sunbathing... sorry, lost my train of thought there.

Even small, THUNDARR could kick your ass.

Anyway, thanks to this new deal, superhero toy collectors are back in business. Between Toy Biz's recent MARVEL LEGENDS and SPIDER-MAN CLASSICS lines, and Mattel's upcoming Justice League line, comic fans will be bouncing off the wall. Now if we can only find a way to get AMBUSH BUG onto that JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon...


The latest toy company to join the mini-figure party? Say hello to Toynami and their newest action figure line: the I-MEN! (Sorry, no relation to the mega-hot supermodel Iman.) These highly articulated little guys will feature magnetic feet and a collector coin that doubles as a display stand. Making the cut on the first three waves of figures are ROBOTECH, HANNA-BARBERA ADVENTURE SUPERSTARS and DRAGONBALL Z. Yep, you'll see everyone from RICK HUNTER to OOKLA THE MOK to GOKU. How's that for a little gang?

BELLDANDY's just wingin' it.

Athiests beware... this December sees three new OH MY GODDESS! action figures imported to the U.S. thanks to the toyrific (ouch) folks over at Diamond Comics. BELLDANDY, URD and SKULD each come with an interlocking base and a bonus piece that joins with the other figures to form the Banpei-kun robot in motorcycle form. Booyah!


Missed the big Wizard World convention in Chicago last weekend? Then you missed out on a slew of exclusive figures that are currently burning up the collectors market online. Highlights include Palisade's MUPPETS VANISHING CREAM BEAKER, WizKids' BATMAN and SUPERMAN pieces from their upcoming HEROCLIX game, and Stan Winston's unpainted prototype of MUTANT EARTH's TRAKK (limited to just 500 signed pieces).

PHANTOM LADY or Robin on estrogen pills? You make the call!


You like cheese? Well then be sure to check out the latest run of DC Direct's action figures. Cheesy as these characters may be (hey, they were originally Charlton heroes after all), they look damn cool as action figures. Keep your eyes peeled for THE QUESTION, PHANTOM LADY, BLUE BEETLE and UNCLE SAM.

Go Figure is our weekly Toys and Action Figure column.

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