In commemoration of the Robot Chicken crew debuting their RDC Comic special I thought this would be a great time to revisit the Retro Action line from Mattel. Or more importantly what didn’t come to pass and why now I’m getting a bit angry about it.
You see when word was released that Mattel was going to be bringing back the 8 inch Mego style action figures I was completely stoked. How cool was it for a long time lover of Mego World’s Greatest Super Heroes of which I obviously am, was finally going to get the figures that Mego never got around to. Hal Jordan green Lantern, The Flash, The Marian Manhunter and of course Superman’s #1 foe, Lex Luthor! Oh how my collectors heart and inner child was all a flutter. But then they dropped the hammer.
Long story short Mattel cancelled the line due to lack of retail and customer support. While I could go on a serious rant about that excuse I’ll just say this, everyone makes mistakes and Mattel you made plenty of them here so quit passing the buck on retailers and fans. It’s unbecoming of you as one of the leaders in the toy industry.
For me with the line being cancelled it was quite disheartening to see one gapping whole in my collection. There was no Robin to pal around with Batman. The house that Barbie built could crank out four different Green Lantern figures as exclusives (who really cares about Kyle Rayner anyway) but no other half of the Dynamic Duo? Stupid. Just stupid. Anyway the rumbling from the fans of this line went on a crusade to “Save the Retro’s” and one fine person started a petition that would hopefully change Mattel’s mind. In wanting to help the campaign I created the PSA you see below…
Well the petition didn’t go viral and even if it did I don’t believe it would have changed Mattel’s mind. In the end our best efforts could not make any difference or help one lonely Dark Knight. But that isn’t what angers me.
The anger comes from recent discoveries of “web exclusive “ Green Arrow’s showing up at discount chain stores around the country. While this had happened with Wave 2 of the original line up, to see this “Sold Out” hard to get, limited edition figure popping up for half the price Mattel was charging is just ludicrous to me as a fan. It also shows me that my suspicions of incompetence about Mattel execs who were in charge of the line were indeed correct. They simply didn’t know what they were doing with the line and fns are left cold.
In a world with real problems like war, starvation and poverty matters such as this are trivial for sure. However to dash the hopes of fans who were seriously enjoying what was happening from the company that made the “swell” toys is just crap. Period.
Why am I still ranting about this? Mainly because with the Robot Chicken crew’ new special coming out Sunday September 9th and the majority of the characters and costumes are from the Retro Action line I believe that interest for the toys will be hot. Which in a way is good for the dealers out there who are still sitting on cases of the figures. Finally they will get marketing support for the line. Had Mattel tied I with the Robot Chicken guys from the start things perhaps things wouldn’t have had to go south. And maybe the tears in Batman’s pupil-less eyes could have been of joy with the arrival of young ward Dick Grayson finally being able to stand by his side in the toy boxes of many collectors around the world.
With that said I’ll chill out and move on with my collecting and playing. Yep I’m taking my own orders in the fact that I shall Now, Go Play. – Jim 09/08/12