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Monday, November 30, 2015

Is DC Comics Its Own Worst Enemy?

I have to wonder if DC Comics is its own worst enemy. In spite of having a catalog of the most popular superhero characters in the marketplace the company seems to keep making bad business decisions that alienate comic fans and toy collectors.

A few weeks ago, DC Comics Collectibles released DC Icons, a new six-inch scaled superposeable action figure line. And the line which featured both Classic and New 52 L versions of characters was met with a lukewarm response from collectors.

Why? Because DC Collectibles promised collectors a six-inch scaled action figure line. And when pictures of the figures were posted with other six-inch scaled action figures like Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Line, Marvel Legends and DC Collectibles Batman animated lines which were all in the six inch scale, the new figures from the new DC Icons line came up short.  

Way Short. Like 5.5 inch scale.

And thanks to this scale discrepancy the figures are currently pegwarming. With many collectors complaining that the figures are completely incompatible with figures they already own like Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black, and older lines like DC Universe Classics.

Thanks to this latest blunder, I’m left to wonder if DC Comics is DC Comics’ own worst enemy.

The DC Icons line was a golden opportunity for DC Comics to re-establish a connection with the millions of toy collectors and comic fans who have stayed away from DC Comics merchandise since 2011 when the company decided to end its DC Universe and its 75-year history in favor of a New 52 Universe. Unfortunately, fans and collectors wound up being handed yet another olive branch with thorns in it.

I have to wonder does someone working at DC actually hates DC Comic fans? That would have to be the only reason for all the passive-aggressiveness I’ve seen expressed over the last few years by DC’s managers and editors. Promising collectors figures in a six-inch-scale and then give them figures clearly in a 5.5 inch scale is a willful expression of contempt.

And it fits in a pattern of malice aforethought from the company. Earlier in the year DC told fans that the old universe exists. Then they market DC You and tell them that they’re going to explore all 52 of the universes.

All well knowing fans wanted to read adventures set in the classic DC Universe they grew up with for over 75 years. And returning to that classic DC Universe would have been money in the bank for the company.

From the success of Supergirl on CBS it’s clear that there’s STILL a big audience that enjoys the classic characters of the DC Universe. And it’s clear that fans are waiting on the sidelines eager to buy DC Comics and DC Comics merchandise. But DC’s managers continue to do STUPID things that keep people from wanting to spend their money on DC Comics and merchandise.

 Seriously does someone at Warner Brothers NOT like money?

That’s what it looks like to me. Every time DC Comics enters the marketplace they seem to make some sort of dumb mistake that undermines their success.

Meanwhile, third-party companies like NECA take the exact same DC Comics characters like Adam West Batman and Christopher Reeve Superman DC Comics and Mattel have struggle to sell for years and have no problem creating merchandise customers want. Both the superposeable 7-inch scaled Christopher Reeve Superman & Adam West Batman from NECA have been selling like hotcakes. Why? Because they’re in a size compatible with other collector related action figure lines like Marvel Legends, DC Universe Classics, and WWE.

It’s really embarrassing when a third party business like NECA knows how to create and sell DC Comics toys more effectively than DC Comics Collectibles, a division of DC Comics themselves established for that purpose. And this isn’t the time for DC Comics to keep making million dollar blunders like the DC Icons line. DC has lost over 10 percent of its market share in the comic book market to Marvel, Archie, and indie publishers like Dynamite, Boom! And IDW.  DC related merchandise has pegwarmed on the shelves of toy stores and comic shops for the last three going on four years. You would think every effort would be made to create a new strategy to stop the hemorrhaging at retail.

Unfortunately, The DC Comics Division seems to be run by a bunch of stooges dumber than Moe, Larry Curly and Shemp. And their solution to all the problems with the brand is to continue to do more of the same. The rest of the world calls this insanity, but this is business as usual at DC Comics.

In today’s competitive business world one would think a corporation like Time Warner would be taking action to correct this course for DC Comics. But for the last fifteen years top managers there have done nothing while one of the greatest brands in the world continues to decline, managers and editors at DC Comics continue to deny that there are any problems with the publications and merchandise they produce.

Which is why I have to ask: Is DC Comics DC Comics own worst enemy?


  1. Actually Supergirl has declining ratings week by week. It's now down to 8 million viewers.

  2. Entertainment companies sometimes have periods of subconscious self-defeatism?

  3. Sad to hear about the ratings slide Ad. Supergirl is just starting to find its groove. The Red Tornado Episode was one of the best this season so far.