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A Look At What Could Have Been - Marvel Legends Style Batman Figure From Mattel

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Step into our time machine as we take a look back at what possibly could have been.

Long time Marvel Legends and Marvel Universe collectors are likely familiar with the name David Vonner. Originally working on the Marvel Legends line at Toy Biz, he moved over to Hasbro when the license changed hands and continued his work there. Eventually after having a successful stint on the 3.75" Marvel Universe line, David left Hasbro and went to work for Mattel in 2016.

At that time, many including myself assumed he would begin working on Mattel's own ongoing 6" and 3.75" superhero line DC Multiverse. Instead he became a Design Manger for their WWE brand, which is the line he has worked on ever since.

Of course as most know, Mattel eventually lost the DC license to the likes of Spin Master and McFarlane Toys last year.

While Mattel's tenure with the DC license had it's up down, I think it's fairly safe to say that it never quit reached the heights of popularity that Marvel Legends has experienced. Many collectors including myself longed for a day when we would see articulation similar to Marvel Legends on a
 
6" DC Comics action figure, but alas that day never really came.

Well as it turns out that during Dave's time at Mattel, he actually did some work on a Batman figure, which he has now chosen to reveal to the world.

It's not entirely clear why Mattel never choose to move forward with this figure or why David was never put onto the DC Multiverse team back when they had the license, a story perhaps we will hear one day. I won't pretend to speak for the entire collector community, but I will say this is a Batman figure I personally would have liked to seen released. The Bruce Wayne head and pulled back cowl is one of the best I have ever seen on a action figure of this scale. Let us know your own thoughts about this figure in the COMMENTS SECTION below.

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I really don't know what to say, this looks way too good, of course it would've looked less appealing  if it was actually released as retail figure, some details would be softer and worse paint job my guess would be. I would also guess that new tooling for Batman seemed too expensive for Mattel  to justify and would be worth investing only if they were sure they gonna be future License holders. Seeing this amazing prototype kills my heart deeply, yes Todd does some good but even when its good it comes out as a reminder that DC doesn't have 6/6.5 inch scale line anymore and it hurts even more. 

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Marvel Legends, uh?, the body reminds me to the Bats from the Neca DC VS DH pack.

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52 minutes ago, Mr_Scary92 said:

Marvel Legends, uh?, the body reminds me to the Bats from the Neca DC VS DH pack.

NECA did 7" figures.

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This would've been one of the best 6 inch scale Batman figures released, not sure why Mattel never went forward with it. So much missed potential with the DC license by them.

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2 hours ago, 80sboy4 said:

This would've been one of the best 6 inch scale Batman figures released, not sure why Mattel never went forward with it. So much missed potential with the DC license by them.

They probably would have messed it up in production.

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Mattel DID do ML  type articulation toward the end. It didn't help. Also, as much as Mattel crapped on the line, if I were to be honest, the DCUC line was AT LEAST as popular as Hasbro is today.

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The figure looks good but I remember a lot of DCUC figures that had a great looking prototype and once they went into production the end result was crap. DCUC was pretty popular for a while there but that was mostly during a time when Hasbro were producing little to no Marvel Legends. 

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3 hours ago, Belmont13 said:

The figure looks good but I remember a lot of DCUC figures that had a great looking prototype and once they went into production the end result was crap. DCUC was pretty popular for a while there but that was mostly during a time when Hasbro were producing little to no Marvel Legends. 

From 2008-2011 DCUC line was doing much better job sculpt and paint wise than Hasbro did at the time same time with ML, ironically ML improved under Hasbro only when DCUC line started its decline in 2011. Nevertheless, DCUC had amazing sculpts that still hold up to this Day, Etrigan the Demon, Metamorpho, Darkseid, Manbat, Desad, Ares, Steppenwolf, Solomon Grundy,  Giganta, Black Canary, Power Girl, Zatana, Raven, Classic Robin, Black Hand to name a few, they all were examples how amazing this line was. Main issue was over reliance on the same mold body that used most horrendous type of leg articulation. 

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Daayuum, now that woukd had been an interesting figure, if only Mattel could had accepted it.

Though if i were to had gone with one of these batman i would go for the black variant, dig the look a little better.

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2 hours ago, JayC said:

More images

119171673_10158752295991130_3623729724880022753_o.jpg

119239833_10158752295886130_7928575920064046482_o.jpg

Certainly a lot of wasted potential, maybe in the future the license will change hands and we can see something like that, just a possibility

By the way, that unmasking head reminds me a little of the former president of my country, Enrique Peña Nieto, Because that pompadour like haircut. 😁

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14 hours ago, SpiderS said:

From 2008-2011 DCUC line was doing much better job sculpt and paint wise than Hasbro did at the time same time with ML, ironically ML improved under Hasbro only when DCUC line started its decline in 2011. Nevertheless, DCUC had amazing sculpts that still hold up to this Day, Etrigan the Demon, Metamorpho, Darkseid, Manbat, Desad, Ares, Steppenwolf, Solomon Grundy,  Giganta, Black Canary, Power Girl, Zatana, Raven, Classic Robin, Black Hand to name a few, they all were examples how amazing this line was. Main issue was over reliance on the same mold body that used most horrendous type of leg articulation. 

Very true.  Back at that time I would often say Hasbro was great at 3-3/4” figures (GI Joe, Marvel Universe) but pretty meh at 6” but Mattel was doing great at 6” (MOTU Classics, DCUC) but pretty meh at 3-3/4”  

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wow yes this looks really great, I would have been happy to have purchased a DC figure like this and a Line, really is too bad this didn't get released I think it would have been a huge success for DC and these figures could at least have stood along side Marvel Legends in terms of popularity, they messed that one up

hey McFarlane..maybe you want to try something like this out?

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And as we can see....pointed, accurate boots, instead of just painting on the tops.

Ha ha! Grumpy face Batman....meet grumpy face Guardian.....

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On 9/12/2020 at 9:28 AM, JayC said:
Step into our time machine as we take a look back at what possibly could have been.

Long time Marvel Legends and Marvel Universe collectors are likely familiar with the name David Vonner. Originally working on the Marvel Legends line at Toy Biz, he moved over to Hasbro when the license changed hands and continued his work there. Eventually after having a successful stint on the 3.75" Marvel Universe line, David left Hasbro and went to work for Mattel in 2016.

At that time, many including myself assumed he would begin working on Mattel's own ongoing 6" and 3.75" superhero line DC Multiverse. Instead he became a Design Manger for their WWE brand, which is the line he has worked on ever since.

Of course as most know, Mattel eventually lost the DC license to the likes of Spin Master and McFarlane Toys last year.

While Mattel's tenure with the DC license had it's up down, I think it's fairly safe to say that it never quit reached the heights of popularity that Marvel Legends has experienced. Many collectors including myself longed for a day when we would see articulation similar to Marvel Legends on a
 
6" DC Comics action figure, but alas that day never really came.

Well as it turns out that during Dave's time at Mattel, he actually did some work on a Batman figure, which he has now chosen to reveal to the world.

It's not entirely clear why Mattel never choose to move forward with this figure or why David was never put onto the DC Multiverse team back when they had the license, a story perhaps we will hear one day. I won't pretend to speak for the entire collector community, but I will say this is a Batman figure I personally would have liked to seen released. The Bruce Wayne head and pulled back cowl is one of the best I have ever seen on a action figure of this scale. Let us know your own thoughts about this figure in the COMMENTS SECTION below.

118950235_10158751128686130_5262784024695502611_o.jpg

119064579_10158751128541130_1578456212533215563_o.jpg

119072913_10158751128616130_2129818563254001237_o.jpg

Damnit! Why man, whyyy did you have to show this to me? This is, was, shoulda been what Mattel's DC Universe was. I always wondered why Vonner was never put on the team. I'm guessing it was because WWE was the more profitable, thus the more important, property they wanted/needed him on. With McFarlane now in charge of DC Bat-Verse line and then shifting it into his 7" comfort zone we will never see anything like this. They could have been a contender. I suppose there is some hope that with the decent job Spinmaster is doing with the 3.75" line they could possibly earn a 6" license and hire someone like Vonner, but that's probably just a pipe dream at this point. I HUGE missed opportunity!

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This would've been my definitive classic Batman! Perfect for a 1 on 1 throwdown with 80th anniv Cap. The DCUC wave 1 Bats is still the best version of a 70s/80s Batman imo in the 6' scale but the buck is outdated & lacks the POA that the more updated Hasbro ML bucks sport. 

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Last month we showed you some images of two 6" Batman figures that David Vonner had worked on and presented to the folks at Mattel shortly after going to work there as a Design Manger for their WWE brand. David had previously worked on the Marvel Legends brand at both Toy Biz and Hasbro as well as Hasbro's Marvel Universe line, and it was his hope that perhaps he could bring some of that knowledge from working on those successful super hero based lines to DC.

Well to make a long story short, Mattel turned a blind eye to Dave's designs and well, you know the rest.

We just recently learned that Dave is no longer with Mattel. Sadly he was laid off back in March due to COVID. Not to fear though, Dave says its one of the best things that could have happened to him and he is now branching out and doing his own thing (those details to come at a future time). Anyway, Dave recently sat down and talked with Brad The DC Universe Geek about the Batman figures, and what he had hoped to accomplish when he started working on them. He also shares some insights about Mattel in general. It's an interesting listen which we recommend you check out.
 

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