The Mattel Retro-Action DC Superheroes line of toys
At the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, in what has to be considered the most stunning Mego announcement of the decade, Mattel toys announced the relaunch of the "World's Greatest Superhero" line of action figures.
The line was made and distributed by Mattel but the figure's design was overseen by Paul "Dr. Mego" Clarke of EMCE toys. For this task, Paul used some of the many talented people from the Mego Museum Custom Community, it was a family effort.
Mattel chose to use their own body instead of the familiar EMCE body design,which unfortunately provided some early stumbling blocks for the line in terms of quality control.
Atypical of Mattel with collector lines of this ilk, distribution of the line was spotty at best, with some stores receiving waves in a timely fashion and others never seeing anything past wave one. Mattel seemed dedicated to making the line successful, to the point of repairing body issues in the first two waves.
In the winter of 2010, Retro Action wave 2 was found on clearance in TJ Maxx stores, leading Mego fans to conjecture over the line's future.
In the Spring of 2011, Mattel confirmed that Retro Action would not continue into 2012, it's last exclusive (Green Lantern Kyle Rayner) has also been bumped from it's original July release date to an indefinite time in the future.
The outcry from the Mego community has largely been mixed although the general consensus is that the line didn't get a fair shot and would have sold better had it been more readily available. The end result however, is still that 25 new 8" Superheroes were released into the market in a two year time span and that is never a bad thing.
Will someone pick up the baton and bring back DC 8" Superheroes? One can only hope.
We have a forum for Mattel Retro Action where you can be kept up to date and get your questions answered by some of the very people who worked on these toys.
Fall 2009: Green Arrow (Mattycollector.com exclusive launching December 15 2009)
Spring 2010: Superman, Lex Luthor, Green Lantern, Sinestro (Toys R Us exclusive)
Summer 2010: Batman, Two Face, Aquaman, Black Manta (Toys R Us exclusive)
2011: Wonder Woman, Cheetah, Flash, Captain Cold
2011: Shazam, Black Adam, Martian Manhunter, Darkseid
Matty Collector Exclusives 2011: Guy Gardner, Yellow Costume Sinestro, John Stewart, Kyle Raynor