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

by Jay Cochran
September 12, 2020
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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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
Batfreak87 - 2020-10-08 @ 9:18 pm

It's amazing- it's things like this why I am glad Mattel is gone from DC multiverse line- they did some good ideas and some decent figs towards the end but mostly all looked kid-like compared to what the line is now under McFarlane toys. And for them to shy away from these more superior Batman figs, proves why they lost the license. Mattel sucks when it comes to comic figures. I would have loved these.

Roadpigmaster - 2020-10-06 @ 1:07 am
On 9/12/2020 at 10:28 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 a6" 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.

Very nice ?? look...

NightwingBegins - 2020-10-03 @ 7:34 pm

Yeah, but we know Mattel would have screwed the final product up and that yellow oval emblem would have ended up too high on his chest. Check every DCUC Batman prototype, then look at the final figure in your hands.

JayC - 2020-09-23 @ 12:41 am
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.
Gigantor - 2020-09-16 @ 3:43 pm

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.

41055_1529445590 - 2020-09-14 @ 9:40 pm
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 a6" 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.

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-Verseline and then shifting it into his 7" comfort zonewe 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!

Atlantis - 2020-09-14 @ 3:10 pm

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

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

Mangle77 - 2020-09-13 @ 7:49 pm

The Batman we need, and the one we deserve.

Lord_Scareglow - 2020-09-13 @ 7:12 pm

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?

InspectorZartan - 2020-09-13 @ 5:42 pm
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 startedits decline in 2011. Nevertheless, DCUC hadamazing 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 issuewas 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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