In recent months, DC Collectibles has made the dreams of pretty much every 90s kid a reality with their all new fully articulated 6” scale figures based on 1992’s iconic ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ These figures feature phenomenal sculpts that manage to hide most of the articulation right in the smooth designs to bring the art-style and character design of the legendary Bruce Timm to life in plastic form in your collection! But with every up, there is a down. Many fans have been facing serious concerns with the quality control on these figures as numerous instances of these figures breaking almost immediately after they are removed from the packaging have surfaced since their initial release. In a recent post on the Official DC Collectibles Blog, DC Collectibles has addressed these issues and released more information as to the future of this incredibly popular line.
What’s Up With The Quality Control?
“We received fan questions asking about quality issues with DC Collectibles product, so we wanted to take a moment to give you a look at where we are and what we are doing going forward.
Some fans have mentioned damaged product or brittle parts with our Batman Animated action figure line. We are currently evaluating the production process for these action figures and have instituted some additional reviews in order to improve and catch any quality issues. Be reassured that quality will be improving going forward.
For those of you more interested in specifics, here are some details. We have traditionally used a polycarbonate for smaller joints on our plastic action figures. This is sometimes referred to as the “clear plastic.” Based on our early reviews of samples sent from the factories the products held up under testing. Since then, however, in part as a result of fan feedback that we received, it has become clear that we can make the smaller joints in our action figures even stronger.
Starting with most products in 2015, we are upgrading to POM (aka polyoxymethylene) for those joints previously made in polycarbonate. This is a stronger plastic that allows it to be molded in a color instead of clear. We have heard from our fans loud and clear that this is the number one issue for our action figures.
We will continue to use PVC (aka polyvinyl chloride) for the larger size joints (such as elbows and knees), ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) for harder plastics and on a case by case basis, we will be thickening the size of very small joints. This may affect some of the aesthetic look of the small Batman Animated characters but we feel the balance between look and quality will be appropriate.
In addition to the material change, we have changed our quality review process and extended our production timeline to ensure we can deliver the best products.
Wow! That was a lot of long sounding words! But hopefully this background information helps reinforce to you, our fans, that we are dedicated to improving our product so that you have the best experience possible. And we want to make sure we’re always improving. You can help us by sending your feedback to our e-mail address: DCCollectibles@DCEntertainment.com “
So what does this mean for you as a collector? Well, for one, at least DC Collectibles is taking your concerns into consideration and looking at the process in which they produce the toys that you love to collect! The infamous ’clear plastic’ they use in their figure joints has been an ongoing issue for a few years (since around 2010’s ’Brightest Day’ toyline!), so it’s nice to see them taking initiative to correct the problem. The new ’Batman: The Animated Series’ line looks to be suffering from it worse than any previous lines before it, but that may have to do with the tiny size of the joints themselves that are a part of the character designs. While these new changes might alter the looks at these character designs in a minor way (thickening the joints), it certainly seems like a fair trade off for figures that don’t break so easily! DC Collectibles also looks to be sending out replacement figures to those that have contacted them with breakage concerns, so they’re really looking out for their fan base!
What About the Next Waves of Figures?
“As we start to share even more info on our Batman Animated action figure line, questions have been pouring in. While you will have to wait until Toy Fair for some more figure announcements, you can go the DC Comics blog right now to take the poll of which figures you would like to see going forward.
We also have updates on the announced series of action figures. Because of the new changes to our quality control, we have delayed Wave 2 of the Batman Animated figures. The new plan is to have the Joker, Man-Bat and Robin release in March of 2015. Poison Ivy will be released later in 2015 as we want to be sure that her smaller joints are working perfectly. Wave 3A will now feature Killer Croc and the Creeper and will release in May 2015 while Wave 3B will feature Poison Ivy, Robin (from The New Batman Adventures) and Harley Quinn and release in June 2015.
We understand delaying the product causes frustration, but want to make sure you’re getting the best quality and are able to enjoy the figures to the fullest!”
While it’s a major disappointment to see these new figure waves delayed and split up (especially considering Wave 2 was due out this coming week!), it’s likely for the best in regards to the quality of the toyline. It’s also worth noting that they haven’t released any information as to the release date information for the already previewed Wave 4 which was originally expected to be hitting when Wave 3B is now set to hit.
What About the Future?
DC CollectibDles didn’t say much in regards to what to expect from Wave 5 (beyond that Scarecrow figure they teased last week) or past that beyond “wait until New York Toy Fair” (which is just two weeks away). They DID however, post a shadowy teaser image of something they plan to premiere at New York Toy Fair that looks suspiciously like the Batmobile from ‘The New Batman Adventures,’ so there’s that. What do you think it is? Let us know in the comments below! Stay tuned to ScienceFiction.com to get all your DC Collectibles news!