In 1998, DC Comics took a big step forward in the collectibles arena, creating an internal company that would produce items for their fans. However, with the news that parent company AT&T hit all of DC with major layoffs, including that in-house collectibles company. So, in light of the layoffs, what is the future for collectibles and DC Direct for DC Comics? The short answer is that they aren’t going anywhere. There will still be plenty of merchandise for the biggest DC fans to pick up, even without DC Direct as it once was. Also, the label itself isn’t going anywhere, it seems. In 2012, DC Direct changed its name to DC Collectibles. However, in February, the company changed the name back to DC Direct, which is a clue to the future of DC collectibles after the layoffs.
Publisher and Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics, Jim Lee, spoke recently about this massive restricting effort. He said that it’s been a difficult time for his team, as these layoffs let go longtime collaborators and friends. Speaking specifically about DC Direct, he explained what the business would look like going forward.
As he told The Hollywood Reporter:
“When we started, we were one of the first companies, if not the first, to go out and create a business that catered to that specialty market. That success has brought in a lot of competitors and a lot of companies that are now in that space. So it’s about evolving the model. We want to produce those collectibles and serve those fans, but we will probably shift to a higher price point collectible and more of a licensing model, working with manufacturers we already work with.
“From a consumer point of view, there will not be a change or drop off in the quality of the work they are seeing. Behind the scenes, how we create it and how we get it to them is going to change. We still have our principal lead of DC Direct, Jim Fletcher, with the company. He will be showcased in a fun panel with J. Scott Campbell at Fandome.”
Image via DC Direct
Essentially, the DC Direct label will be applied to costlier items made by other collectibles manufacturers. Instead of competing with them directly, they would pay a premium to display that label on new, licensed products. The manufacturers they partner with will shoulder the cost of producing the items, while DC, WarnerMedia, and AT&T just reap the benefits. It’s some corporate heartlessness, but one can’t argue with the business logic of it all.
What do you think? Will you still support DC Direct and their collectibles in the future? Or does this feel like a heartless cash grab from DC’s new corporate overlords? Share your take in the comments below.
Featured image via DC Direct on Facebook
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.