Marvel Vs. DC: Part 1, Starting Small
Because superheroes are a favorite subject of mine, and because they're currently flooding movies, TV, bookstores, and - most appropriate to this discussion - toy stores, I thought it might be helpful to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Superheroes - and I'm using the term here to describe the properties of Marvel and DC - have hit the peak of their popularity. Of course, as any collector knows, this only makes collecting them that much more problematic. I know a lot of new and casual collectors are often at loss: there are so many different kinds of figures out there, they don't know where to begin. The completist has their work cut out for them as well: the idea of trying to keep up with the vast amount of merchandise out there is dizzying, to say the least.
So I'm going to see about putting together something of a survey of the terrain. Of course, with such a wide field, we're going to need a starting point. And the best place to get started I can think of is scale.
For nearly every scale DC or Marvel has produced toys in, the other's been right there challenging them. From miniature game pieces to twelve inch figures and up: these two companies have been at each other's throats. There are a few exceptions - the Justice League Unlimited figures don't have a current Marvel opposite (at least not one I can think of), but these are few and far between. For this reason, this is going to be our metric.
Before we go any further, I want to include a quick warning: I'm not going to hit everything. There are simply too many different kinds of figures that have appeared and disappeared over the last few years. But I'll do my best to be as complete as possible.
Small Figures and Figurines
Lego Green Goblin and Minimates Spiderman
Megablocks Batman, Robin, and Batmobile with Minimates Cyclops and Wolverine
DC Direct Pocket Superheroes: Superman Set
HeroClix Iron Man, Hulk, and Batman
ERTL Batman, Corgi Batmobile. As for Spiderman: your guess is as good as mine.
Marvel Figure Factory: Blade, Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Doom, Spiderman, and Cyclops
DC Direct Injustice Society PVCs with Flash and Green Lantern
It's hard to get much smaller than Lego figures, so lets start here. Both Marvel and DC have been represented by this company at one time or another, and who can blame them: everyone loves Legos, after all.
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