DC Superheroes (toys)

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DC Superheroes
DC Superheroes Series 2 Superman.jpg

6" Action Figure Toy Line

S3 Superman Series: Series 2, Series 4, Series 5, Series 6
S3 Batman Series: Series 1, Series 3, Series 7, Series 8
Justice League Unlimited Series: Series continued from Justice League Unlimited, continued as Series 3-6

DC Superheroes is a collection of action figures originally produced by Mattel in early 2006. It is divided into three different lines - the Justice League Unlimited toyline, with figures based on the animated Justice League Unlimited series; the S3: Select Sculpt Series, featuring more comic-accurate figures in the 6" scale; and a 12" figure line. The S3 line is further divided into two lines - one featuring Batman, and the other featuring Superman. Series 1 of the S3 line began shipping just after Christmas 2005 to Wal-Mart and began arriving in retailers like Target and Toys "R" Us approximately one month later. The figures have characteristics similar to the competing Marvel Legends line in terms of detailed sculpting, articulation, and including a comic book or diorama with each figure.

History[edit]

The line began as a successor to Mattel's Batman toyline. Since Mattel only had the license to Batman and Superman characters at the time (with the exception of the Justice League Unlimited line), only Batman and Superman characters were able to appear in the line. Instead of primarily using variations on a single character, the line focused on secondary characters and villains.

At New York City's Toy Fair in 2006, the first five assortments were announced (though the fourth series was postponed). The entire line (with the exception of Robin and Nightwing) was sculpted by the Four Horsemen Studios. The figures have around twenty one points of articulation and initially came with a comic book centering around the character it came with, but in 2007 figures came with cardboard dioramas instead.

On June 28, 2007 Mattel's license was extended to include all of the DC Comics characters, including all movies and TV shows past, present and future. At San Diego Comic-Con International, Mattel announced they would be re-branding the line into DC Universe Classics. The first series was viewable at SDCC 2007 and was released in January 2008.

Justice League Unlimited[edit]

Around the same time the first S3 figures hit shelves, the JLU line had also moved under the brand "DC Superheroes". The packaging is similar to the S3 line: in 2006 they were both orange; in 2007, they both became purple.

S3 - Select Sculpt Series Figures[edit]

DC Superheroes Batman and Superman series in packages Left to right: Batman and Superman in orange (2006) package, and Superman and Batgirl in purple (2007) package

The S3 line featured only Superman and Batman characters, and although the promise was that the line would focus on villains and secondary characters, in practice the assortments were heavy with variations of the main characters. Early series of figures came with comic books featuring the character they came with, yet due to shipping costs and complications (Mattel is near the West Coast, DC Comics is on the East Coast), Mattel later switched to cardboard dioramas.

In the past Mattel had expressed interest in trying to make almost every character in the DC Universe. Mattel also said they would continue their Batman and Superman lines, but within the continued DC Universe Classics brand. Characters they expressed interest in, and planned on making in the Batman series were: Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, a Batman Begins Scarecrow, Ra's al Ghul, Firefly, The Riddler, Talia al Ghul, Mad Hatter, and Black Mask (Harley Quinn and the Riddler were eventually released as part of DC Universe Classics, while Scarecrow was released as part of the Movie Masters line).

Series One (Batman)[edit]

The last series of Mattel's Batman toyline, featuring several new characters, was not released in America; instead, it reached distant areas such as Australia. Three out of four figures (Bat Signal Batman, Bane, and Scarecrow) were retooled (Batman had new paint and a new cape, and a running change on Bane gave him new hands), and shipped to Wal-Marts. The fourth figure of the assortment was Killer Croc, who was previously hard to find and had a new head sculpt and paint application. The only Batman figure that was initially shipped overseas and never re-shipped under the DC Superheroes line was Attack Armor Batman.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Batman 1st sculpt Batarang, handcuffs, grapple Repainted from Mattel 2003 line 19 points
Killer Croc Pipe Repainted from Mattel 2003 line, with new head and no tail 8 points
Scarecrow Scythe/pitchfork, bomb Repainted from Mattel 2003 line 25 points
Bane Repainted from Mattel 2003 line 14 points
Teddy bear Same as above figure, but includes teddy bear accessory and resculpted hands

Series Two (Superman)[edit]

Series Two featured Superman, Supergirl, Doomsday, Bizarro, and a Superman/Bizarro 2-pack (released exclusively to Target).

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Superman 1st sculpt Original paint scheme 23 points Series 5, Target Exclusive Superman/Bizarro 2-pack and Superman/Clark Kent 2-pack
Supergirl Linda Danvers Original colors 22 points
Bizarro Tire axle 1st paint scheme (bright) w/ no pupils 23 points Series 5, Target Exclusive Superman/Bizarro 2-pack
Doomsday 1st paint scheme (original version) 23 points

Series Three (Batman)[edit]

DC Superheroes Series 3. Left to right: Mr. Freeze, Robin, Batman, and Azrael

With Series Three, the S3 line returned to the Batman family, releasing a new Batman, Robin, Azrael, and Mr. Freeze. While Robin and Mr. Freeze shared the same sculpt as their original releases in the Batman toyline, Batman and Azrael were new sculpts released for the first time, though Mr. Freeze featured as much articulation as Batman and Azrael. Series Three was also the first series to include a diorama with each figure instead of a comic book. Although comics would be included again with Series 4 figures, Series Five through Eight would feature dioramas only.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Batman 2nd sculpt 7 Batarangs 1st paint scheme (blue) 23 points Target Exclusive Batman/Batgirl 2-pack
Robin Tim Drake Hoverboard with firing disc Rereleased from Mattel 2003 line; 1st paint scheme (red and green) 9 points Toys "R" Us exclusive Batman/Robin 2-pack
Azrael 25 points DC Universe Classics
Mr. Freeze Freeze gun Rereleased and retooled from Mattel 2003 line 22 points

Series Four (Superman)[edit]

The second Superman series (fourth series overall) featured Superman (black "S" shield), Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and Darkseid. Two Target-exclusive two-packs were also released, one featuring Superman/Clark Kent, and one featuring Batman/Batgirl (comic-styled Barbara Gordon version).

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Superman 2nd sculpt Rereleased from Mattel 2003 line 14 points
Superman 1st sculpt Repaint of Series 2 version - black and red logo, red eyes 23 points Series 5
Supergirl Linda Danvers Repaint of Series 2 version - black and red logo, black skirt 22 points Series 5
Lex Luthor Battle Armor Gun, Kryptonite Retooled arms (new forearms) and legs from DCSH Mr. Freeze 22 points DC Universe Classics
Brainiac Robot form 27 points
Darkseid Mother Box 1st paint scheme (blue) 18 points

Series Five (Superman)[edit]

This series marks the departure from orange cards to the new purple packs. Sticking with Superman for the next two series, Mattel released Steel, Parasite, Kal-El, Black Suit Superman, and Cyborg Superman (very hard to find) figures, along with repainted versions of Superman, Supergirl, Doomsday, Bizarro, and Darkseid.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Superman 1st sculpt Rerelease of Series 2 version 23 points
Superman 1st sculpt Rerelease of Series 4 version 23 points
Supergirl Linda Danvers Rerelease of Series 4 version 22 points
Supergirl Kara Zor-El Original paint scheme 20 points DC Universe Classics
Bizarro Tire axle Rerelease of Series 2 version 23 points
Doomsday Repaint of Series 2 version - Heat vision reflection 23 points
Parasite 23 points
Steel Hammer Gray "S" on chest 23 points
Vac-metallized "S" on chest

Series Six (Superman)[edit]

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Black Suit Superman 1st sculpt Repaint of Series 2 Superman - black and silver suit 23 points
Cyborg Superman 23 points DC Universe Classics
Kal-El/Superman 1st sculpt Repaint of Series 2 version - Metallic color scheme with altered headsculpt 23 points
Darkseid Mother Box Repaint of Series 4 version - 2nd paint scheme (black) 18 points
Mongul 23 points DC Universe Classics
Bizarro "Bizarro #1" nameplate Repaint of Series 2 version - 2nd paint scheme (dark), nameplates either gray or black 23 points

Series Seven (Batman)[edit]

A brown version of Man-Bat was originally scheduled for Series Seven, but was dropped. The figure was eventually released as part of DC Universe Classics. A dark tech-suit variant of Mr. Freeze was also to be included but was dropped as well; it was eventually released as a convention exclusive in 2008.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Camo Bane Teddy bear Repaint of Series 1 version - camouflaged suit 14 points
Knightshadow Batman 2nd sculpt 3 Batarangs Repaint of Series 3 Batman - black suit with new head 23 points
Batgirl Cassandra Cain Batarang 21 points
Two-Face Harvey Dent Tommy gun 20 points

Series Eight (Batman)[edit]

Half of this series featured repaints from the Batman toyline.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Batman 2nd sculpt 3 Batarangs Repaint of Series 3 version - 2nd paint scheme (black) with different belt 23 points
Bruce Wayne-to-Batman Snap-on costume, spotlight Repainted from Mattel 2003 line
The Joker Gas mask, mallet, squirt gun Repainted from Mattel 2003 line
Nightwing Dick Grayson Baton, shield Repainted from Mattel 2003 line
Catwoman Whip, cat, jewelry, backpack
Clayface Bendable arms DC Universe Classics

Target Exclusive 2-packs[edit]

The orange-carded DC Superheroes S3 series packs were rounded out by 2-packs exclusively released to Target stores.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Bizarro Rerelease of Series 2 version 23 points
Superman 1st sculpt Rerelease of Series 2 version 23 points
Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Batman 2nd sculpt Rerelease of Series 3 version 23 points
Batgirl Barbara Gordon's second costume Batarang Gray Suit 21 points DC Universe Classics
Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Clark Kent File folder Blue business suit 20 points
Superman 1st sculpt Rerelease of Series 2 version 23 points

Toys "R" Us Exclusives[edit]

The following figures are repaints of figures in the DC Superheroes line and were included in Toys "R" Us exclusives.

Ultimate Batman 5-pack[edit]

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Batman 1st sculpt 2nd color scheme (black) with yellow bright belt, minimal articulation, and cloth cape; released in a 5-pack with figures from other Batman toylines

Batman/Robin 2-packs[edit]

A Batman/Nightwing 2-pack was also advertised but was apparently never released.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Batman 1st sculpt 2nd color scheme (black), with giant wraparound cloth cape
Robin Batarang Rerelease of Series 3 version 9 points
Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation Re-release
Batman 1st sculpt Batarang 2nd color scheme (black), with giant wraparound cloth cape
Robin Batarang Repaint of Series 3 version - 2nd color scheme (blue/silver) 9 points

Convention exclusives[edit]

These figures were offered as exclusives during comic conventions in 2007 and 2008.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation First Release Re-release
Man-Bat Repaint of unreleased Man-Bat figure - Albino 2nd paint scheme (white) SDCC 2007
Repaint of unreleased Man-Bat figure - Mid-transformation 3rd paint scheme (clear), light-up eyes
Mr. Freeze Freeze gun Repaint of Series 3 version (tech-suit) 22 points NYCC 2008

12" figures[edit]

Mattel also released several 12" figures under the DC Superheroes banner. The figures are larger versions of the S3 sculpts. This line continued as part of the DC Universe line.

Figure Version Accessories Description Articulation First Release Re-release
Superman 1st sculpt 12" version of DCSH Series 2 figure
Batman 2nd sculpt 12" version of DCSH Series 3 figure
Batman 2nd sculpt 12" version of DCSH Series 8 figure, Toys "R" Us exclusive
Cyborg Superman 12" version of DCSH Series 6 figure, Toys "R" Us exclusive

See also[edit]

External links[edit]