This week’s merchandise world has gone loopy for The Dark Knight Rises with two stellar announcements by two of the world’s biggest collectible players, in DC Direct and Hot Toys, and 2012 looks like it’s going to be a good year for anyone who collects Bat Merch. There’s also a couple of entries from Mattel, making this the most bumperest Merch Hunter column ever. It’s been a thrill-ride, and I’d like to thanks Jesus Christ and Chris Nolan for giving me the strength to achieve this monumental feat.
So anyway, this week’s Merch Hunter is dedicated to Chris Nolan’s upcoming trilogy-ender, and the news that has got collectors’ tongues wagging and seats wet in the past week or so. So put away your wallets for now, because you won’t be able to buy what is listed here just yet – and in all honesty, saving up for them is probably going to be a pragmatic decision, given how much dough is likely to be needed to buy them.
1. DC Direct’s Dark Knight Rising Busts and Statues
Thanks to website Idle Hands, who got their mitts on the catalog from the UK Toy Fair, we now know what DC Direct’s Dark Knight Rises line of statues and busts might look like, and they’re fucking beautiful. And yes, the profanity was necessary.
It looks like DC Direct have made a strong play to take some sales away from Mattel, who cut a deal with Warners to pick up the toy rights for the upcoming mega-blockbuster. But then, the good news for collectors is that it seems DCD and Mattel can co-exist, with the former taking on the higher-end of the collector’s market, and the latter probably focusing more on more general consumer needs. For me, there is little distinction, because neither are going to come out of their boxes, but at least it suggests I’m going to get a broader spread of Dark Knight Rises collectibles this year, and both from companies I’d trust to make an action figure of myself.
Expect the Merch Hunter 6 inch poseable statue some time around 2015…
Have a more extensive look at the statues, as well as the other shockingly good DC Direct 2012 lines here.
2. Hot Toys’ Bane
Those collectible devils at Hot Toys this week posted a teaser image for their upcoming Bane figure – which makes the villain look slightly light on his feet, and very possibly in the midst of a tap dancing routine (a spoiler for the film perhaps?) – with the following post:
The Legend Ends. The terrorist leader Bane will arrive in Gotham City, pushing it and the police force to their limits, forcing Batman to resurface after taking the fall for The Joker’s crimes. The Dark Knight Rises movie will be coming this Summer and this Bane Collectible Figure will be announced in coming months before movie launches! Batman fans, please stay tuned!
Aside from the error in suggesting Batman took the fall for renowned terrorist The Joker (it was Harvey Dent he was protecting), that’s an exciting message. Yes it’s likely to be massively expensive, but who the hell counts when the quality your buying is of Hot Toys’ usual standard? Even from the teaser image, it’s obvious that the merch Gods have executed another essential, exquisite collectible.
3. Hot Wheels’ Bat-Vehicles: The Tumbler, The Bat & The Bat-Pod
I might be in a minority, but I don’t like any of those names for the three vehicles that will appear in the film, and which Hot Wheels are set to release in line with the movie’s release, but the prototype images at least look good. Each will be remote-controlled, and battery-operated, and look pretty impressive from the images that have so far been released.
You can check out images of the (spoiler-ish) prototypes here.
4. Mattel’s Other TDKR Lines
No images yet exist of what the toy giants have in store other than of their Hot Wheels vehicles above- though they are expected at next month’s Toy Fair, so expect to read me getting over-excited about them some time in February – but we do know what to expect, and it would be rude not to share, given this opportunity:
- MOVIE MASTERS FIGURES: This assortment is all about the collector with 6-inch Movie Masters figures designed with authentic detail and supreme quality. Collect every figure available in 2012 and receive pieces that can be assembled into a BATSIGNAL. Not only does the BATSIGNAL light up, but it also projects on the wall! Ages 4 and older.
- THE DARK KNIGHT RISES QUICKTEK FIGURES: This assortment gives fans of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES the ability to gear up with BATMAN and fight all the villains in GOTHAM CITY. Kids can instantly change BATMAN into fighting gear, revealing an arsenal of weapons and accessories with a surprise reveal. Criminals beware! Ages 4 and older.
- THE BAT VEHICLE: The new air attack vehicle of BATMAN is brought to life with launching projectiles, battle sounds and a BATMAN figure that launches higher than 10 feet!
T-Shirt of the Week
The fire rises.
Pick up a viral Bane t-shirt here, before they’re all squirreled away by fanatical collectors for good.