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Spin Master Announces Three-Year Toy Licensing Agreement With Warner Bros. Consumer Products - What Does It Mean For DC Comic Action Figures? DC Comics

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Spinmaster last week released a press release stating that they have entered into a 3 year agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) which includes allowing them to make DC Comic based things like remote control and robotic vehicles, water toys and games and puzzles type products.

While not 100% clear, this doesn't seem like something that will effect the production of action figures from Mattel who had been the master toy license holder for DC for many years now. We've reached out to Mattel to see if we can get any clarification from them and will update you if we hear anything back.


See the press release below from Spinmaster:

Press Release:

Spin Master Corp. (TSX:TOY; www.spinmaster.com), a leading global children's entertainment company, announced today that it has entered into a three-year global licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP). Beginning Spring 2020, Spin Master will be a new toy licensee for DC in the boy's action category, remote control and robotic vehicles, water toys and games and puzzles.

"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."

Spin Master continues to build a strong portfolio of licensed products, including its 10-year licensing partnership with FELD Entertainment as the worldwide master toy partner and the soon to be launched line of Monster Jam® trucks. Spin Master was recently recognized for its leadership in licensing by Kidscreen, who named Spin Master #1 in Licensing on the 2018 Hot 50 Companies ranking.
 
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I saw this posted by Brad The DC Geek on his IG and thought nothing of it. Since I never knew this company up to this point, but since mattel is having some problems with sales and DC Collectibles can't keep up too, maybe it is time for another company to give it a shot.

But which products does this company make usually? 

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I would be okay if they took action figure license from Mattel 2 years ago, but now seeing that Mattel started improving especially with Lobo wave, this is really alarming, hope they keep DC multiverse line alive.  

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I really don’t want to see DC Multiverse go but if it does and someone else pics it up and reboots it I call it quits with collecting DC, I can be at least happy being able to finish a line. And just focus on marvel legends and Star Wars Black series

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As long as it continues to let Mattel do what they’re doing, this doesn’t really concern me at all... It seems like multiple franchises and IPs are being portioned out to various different toy manufacturers and companies these days anyway. Hopefully they produce something somebody, somewhere wants.

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We already had experience with such transition when Hasbro took license from ToyBiz and it wasn't pretty, and note Hasbro has actual experience with action figures and still it took them years to nail it, I am afraid to imagine what this transition might look like.

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I'm still waiting to hear clarification from Mattel on exactly what this means for things like DC Multiverse. I personally don't see Spin Master doing much if anything on the action figure front. While Mattel figures aren't perfect, a company like Spin Master has never done anything to remotely show they could do anything better in that area. I remember when Spin Master tried to do Tron figures and that didn't really go well. The only possible good thing I could see from this, is if it opened the door for a company like NECA to be able to do more DC figures, but at this point I've seen no indication of that.

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A friend of mine shared the following article over on Facebook... It’s looking like Mattel may be out of the DC Comics figure business come 2020, if this bears any truth. I have to admit to not being too thrilled with it, seeing as Mattel thoroughly upped their game with their latest Multiverse waves. Business is business, I guess. And it’s all about the bottom line. But, you’d think they’d have waited to see what fruits these latest upgrades would bear, before throwing Matty under the chopping block.

http://news.toyark.com/2018/12/26/mattel-loses-most-of-their-dc-comics-license-to-spin-master-327899

What do you think, @JayC?

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On 12/27/2018 at 7:22 AM, JayC said:

I'm still waiting to hear clarification from Mattel on exactly what this means for things like DC Multiverse. I personally don't see Spin Master doing much if anything on the action figure front. While Mattel figures aren't perfect, a company like Spin Master has never done anything to remotely show they could do anything better in that area. I remember when Spin Master tried to do Tron figures and that didn't really go well. The only possible good thing I could see from this, is if it opened the door for a company like NECA to be able to do more DC figures, but at this point I've seen no indication of that.

I'm pretty sure DC is looking at a "Big Picture" situation. Maybe Spin Master hasn't done much with action figures, but if you look at a list of their products, you'll see a laundry list of long-standing and extremely popular product lines. If I knew a big chunk of my revenue was dependent on toy sales, that's the kind of thing I'd be looking for.

Meanwhile, a cursory glance of Mattel's DC offerings over the last several years reveals a terrible track record of criminal mismanagement from poor distribution to horrible QC, to nearly non-existent promotion (and don't even get me started on the whole subscription megillah).

I gotta figure DC is about ready to turn their license over to someone who'll take it seriously.

 

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I guess this needs mention, You can't find any DC figures by Mattel in Post soviet countries, only barbies Hot wheels, DC superhero girls being only dc related property I've seen.  I think this in a way explains why DC isn't too happy with Mattel. 

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This was not that surprising....Mattel sadly has fumbled more than a few "home runs" (MOTU, Thundercats, Halo)and it looks like the chickens are coming home to roost.  The 4 Horsemen are rocking the Mythic Legions, and Mattel's handling of DC Universe has gone through more reboots and still can't get the formula right.  Despite Hasbro's initial fumble with ML...I don't think anyone can knock them now.  Mattel has had the DC license longer...and I'm still puzzled why I have some figs and why others are wish list dreams still.  Combine with the horrid distribution and hit or miss release dates....yeah...it's time.  Hopefully Spin Master doesn't change the scale and really works to plug holes.  I won't even look to DC Collectibles because that line is overpriced and suffers from the same character selection probs.  I'm sick of Superman/Batman.  Let's see Milestone, Wildstorm, "lower tier" DC characters repped in plastic!!  Give me a Zod!!!!

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On 12/28/2018 at 10:02 AM, sXeblues said:

A friend of mine shared the following article over on Facebook... It’s looking like Mattel may be out of the DC Comics figure business come 2020, if this bears any truth. I have to admit to not being too thrilled with it, seeing as Mattel thoroughly upped their game with their latest Multiverse waves. Business is business, I guess. And it’s all about the bottom line. But, you’d think they’d have waited to see what fruits these latest upgrades would bear, before throwing Matty under the chopping block.

http://news.toyark.com/2018/12/26/mattel-loses-most-of-their-dc-comics-license-to-spin-master-327899

What do you think, @JayC?

The only thing anyone knows is what is in the PR posted above from Spinmaster. Beyond that all you are seeing is speculation and guessing. This is the key info from the PR everyone is focusing on:

"Beginning Spring 2020, Spin Master will be a new toy licensee for DC in the boy's action category, remote control and robotic vehicles, water toys and games and puzzles."

You will notice it says boys action but specifically focuses on stuff I would say most of you here could care less about. Now in the overall scheme of things these are things that will drastically effect Mattel's bottom line profit wise which is what you have seen the mass media focus on and why Mattel stock took a hit when this news broke, but again nothing about action figures here.

Things to keep in mind:

- Mattel's current license does end in 2020.

- DC really doesn't have a true master toy license in the way say Marvel does. Warner Bros. allows multiple companies to make very similar product hence how you see companies like Mattel and DC Collectibles make action figures.

- Spinmaster has no real history making adult oriented action figures nor is it something I really see them interested in trying to do. If they try it, my prediction is collectors will hate them more than they say they hate Multiverse.

- Could Mattel continue doing DC Multiverse beyond 2020. Yes it is possible. There is nothing from either Mattel or Spinmaster at this point that says they couldn't, so anyone who says as fact otherwise at this point is full of it. To me the bigger question than whether they can continue doing Multiverse is will they want to? Without being able to do the kids stuff which is where the real money is made, they might decide it is no longer worth doing. 

- Could another company pick up the ball and do more adult oriented action figures for DC? Possibly. This could possibly allow a company like NECA to do more DC stuff or give DC Collectibles more freedom. I strongly suspected that the #1 reason DC Icons where canceled is because of Mattel making a stink about them being to close to scale with their own figures.

As I said before, right now all we know for sure is what is said in the Spinmaster PR which is pretty vague in general. Neither Mattel nor Spinmaster is saying anything else at this point and truth be told these companies might not even know for sure how they will be proceeding. We will likely get more details as we head into Toy Fair in February but right now we basically no nothing.

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I am told Mattel should be issuing a statement on the status of Multiverse beyond 2020 pretty soon.

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On 12/29/2018 at 1:17 PM, mako said:

I'm pretty sure DC is looking at a "Big Picture" situation. Maybe Spin Master hasn't done much with action figures, but if you look at a list of their products, you'll see a laundry list of long-standing and extremely popular product lines. If I knew a big chunk of my revenue was dependent on toy sales, that's the kind of thing I'd be looking for.

Meanwhile, a cursory glance of Mattel's DC offerings over the last several years reveals a terrible track record of criminal mismanagement from poor distribution to horrible QC, to nearly non-existent promotion (and don't even get me started on the whole subscription megillah).

I gotta figure DC is about ready to turn their license over to someone who'll take it seriously.

 

I think you are 100% right. I've tried to make this point before. Our little corner of the adult action figure collector market is a very small piece of the overall picture for the DC License. It's def not the main place these companies make their money or why these companies want the DC License. Sure if you are paying for the license would you want any other company to be able to cash in...not likely but its not where their main focus is. It still remains to be seen if Mattel can or wants to continue making DC Multiverse beyond 2020 but if they do I hope they give it a strong going or someone who will give it a strong going is able to pick up the reins there.

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While I love the current Multiverse line (now that I can find it SOMEWHAT consistently), depending on what Spin Masters rolls out, I'd be perfectly happy washing my hands of Matty for good.

I mean, I know it sounds harsh, but back in the day I was as big and loyal a DCUC supporter as you could find. Of course, Mattel thanked me by taking my brand loyalty and wrapping their trash in it.

New batter.

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