Todd McFarlane is known for revolutionizing two industries: comics and toys. Spawning an immeasurable legacy by co-founding Image Comics, the writer and artist went on to form McFarlane Toys. Known for their extreme detail and collectability, these figures helped put the creator on the map. Having recently started using his company as an outlet for DC Comics, McFarlane is now pitching an idea that could reach the next generation of comic book readers.
“Page Punchers” is a new line of McFarlane action figures based on DC Comics characters. From Superman and Batman to anti-hero Black Adam, these toys come with comics to get kids hooked on both. It brings back the history of the comics, and could also potentially save them.
What are McFarlane Toys Page Punches?
DC Direct Page Punchers are 3″ or 7″ action figures of various DC Comics characters. Sold for $9.99, these are essentially two products in one. Not only do shoppers get a cool action figure depicting their favorite character, but they also get a matching comic to dive into said character’s story. These comics are from different eras, with the look and book usually being classic or recent for the character. For example, the Batman Page Punchers figure includes the first issue of the Batman: Hush storyline, while the figure of Superman is Rebirth Superman, containing the first issue of this era. The Flash is based on his incarnation of the popular Flashpoint storyline and comes with the first issue. The Black Adam figure has the newest comic, packaged with Black Adam: Endless Winter #1.
It’s reminiscent of an older time for comic books, when they were sold in stores close to toys. This way, a child could pick up the latest issue of the character while hopefully finding that same character in plastic form on the toy shelves. Eventually, comics began to be separated into the book/magazine section of stores before eventually leaving most retailers altogether. This lack of physical accessibility has contributed to the death of the industry, especially when it comes to the involvement of children. However, Page Punchers could easily change that.
Page punchers can help get kids interested in comics again
The toys themselves are designed for children, which is also reflected in the price. A total of $10 for a comic and a toy is a great deal for parents, especially as an impulse buy. Likewise, this first wave of characters features three popular DC heroes, as well as a character soon to be portrayed by The Rock in a big-budget movie. Price and details are smaller than typical McFarlane Toys offerings, while being more detailed than other DC figures. All of this goes a long way to making sure kids actually get the products and comics inside.
By having both the action figure and a comic book that “talks” about the action figure, kids will hopefully become interested in the character and want to know more about them. This will help them see that these characters aren’t just movies or cartoons, potentially leading them to seek them out as a monthly comic. It’s somewhat similar to the pack-in comics that once served as cereal or other snacks, though they’re official DC books, making them more “legitimate.”
The biggest way for this idea to fail, however, would be if you don’t keep adding new waves as quickly as possible. This way kids can “discover new action figures” once they’ve experienced others, which gets them interested in the DC Universe as a whole. These shouldn’t just be famous characters like Superman, Batman, and the Justice League, but also less traditional ones like Swamp Thing and especially Blue Beetle, given his upcoming movie. If DC and McFarlane Toys play well, they just might create a generation hungry for comic book content, especially if they pair it with the fun and creativity of a toy.
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