5) 30-Inch Anti-Monitor from DC Infinite Heroes (Mattel, 2009)
In DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths
, the DC Universe was nearly destroyed by a being known as the Anti-Monitor. Mattel gave out just a handful of these gigantic 30-inch tall Anti-Monitor figures at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, raffling them off to a few lucky winners. The figure was designed to be in scale with Mattel's DC Infinite Heroes line (now nearly defunct), and if sold at retail would have cost several hundred dollars.
4) The Spirit of Grayskull from Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel, 2008)
While there was already a rare bronze variant of King Grayskull available at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con, Mattel also created this rare "Spirit of Grayskull" figure, cast in translucent blue (and quite similar to Hasbro's Spirit of Obi-Wan promotion from the 1990s). Only two editions of this figure were made for the public. One was raffled off at 2008 San Deigo Comic Con, the other was auctioned for charity at Mattel's 2008 "Dream Halloween" event--for $3,400.
3) Muppets Wedding of the Century from The Muppets (Palisades, 2002)
Everyone remembers the scene at the end of The Muppets Take Manhattan
where Kermit and Miss Piggy get married. Whether they actually got married is apparently up for debate
, but for a generation of fans the film cemented the idea of a frog-pig union.
The Muppet creators tended to downplay the marriage idea, so it's perhaps no surprise that while they allowed Palisades Toys to create a few hundred "Wedding of the Century" sets as party favors to celebrate the wedding of Palisades's Product Director Ken Lilly, they stipulated that the set never be sold to retailers. Thus was created one of the most sought-after pieces of Muppets merchandise of all time.
2) Holiday Hal Jordan from Justice League Unlimited (Mattel, 2005)
One of the most popular toylines of the past decade have been the figures based on the Cartoon Network shows Justice League
and, more commonly, Justice League Unlimited
. Even though the final episode was broadcast in 2006, the toyline is still going today.
The main Green Lantern character in Justice League Unlimited was Jon Stewart, not Hal Jordan, and so it seemed unlikely fans would ever see a Hal Jordan figure in the JLU style. But in 2005, Mattel produced 100 JLU Hal Jordans, each signed by Bruce Tim, as a gift for employees at Warner Bros. Animation, DC Comics and Mattel. The terms of how this came about have remained vague over the years; the only thing anyone's sure of is that Mattel somehow managed to become legally unable to produce a JLU Hal Jordan for the mass market.
Many JLU collectors are pretty diehard, and this particular exclusive has rankled fans for years. Many customs exist, some with heads cast from the actual figure. Mattel tried to placate collectors in 2009 with an SDCC exclusive Hal
that almost -- but not quite -- let them make a Holiday Hal (he wasn't wearing a mask).
1) "Savage" He-Man from Masters of the Universe (Mattel, 1981)
Ah, the mysterious "Savage" He-Man. Very little is known about this figure, except that it did indeed exist and was produced for Mattel and released as some sort of promotional item, most likely as a mail-away. A number of the figures exist in the wild. He features brown hair instead of blond, and black boots and a black belt rather than brown.
For years he was referred to as "Wonder Bread" He-Man, due mostly due fan speculation (there was a Wonder Bread/MOTU tie-in, but it was for trading cards, not a figure). In truth, no one's sure how he was packaged (probably in a baggie). No one's sure what accessories he came with (maybe a red axe-and-sword set). He-Man.org, Mattel, and ToyFare Magazine all made a combined effort to find out the story behind this figure, and they came to only one conclusion: it existed. But apparently it's so exclusive, even the sponsor of the promotion has been excluded.
Mattel honored the infamous figure with an updated Classics version, coyly named "Wun-Dar," as an exclusive gift for subscribers to Club Eternia last year, bringing his legend full circle.