So as pretty much anyone whom is an pro wrestling enthusiast knows, a new pro wrestling company All Elite Wrestling has been formed with most of the biggest and most creative people in the business today. While I have zero doubts on what they will do in the ring, television or from rumor in the video game world the one place where I do worry is the toy industry.

There have been a ton of promotions out there that have had toy deals over the years and even recently but only a very few have ever survived or taken off.

Now the industry is mostly focused on the collector market now. Which I have gone over ad nauseam why this is both good and bad, but that is not the subject of this article. If you are going to not only survive, but thrive; Mrs. Matt, Cody, Bucks, Kenny listen up!

Six Inch Scale is King!

Yes, I am sure you are going to get a ton of pitches for a ton of different scales, articulation setups, etc. But if you listen to nothing else here this is key; MAKE YOUR LINE 6 INCH! It is where all of the most popular lines are, it is the perfect compromise between size, price, detail and articulation.

But, the true reason why everyone is at this scale is the same reason why you liked everything being 3 3/4 scale when you were a kid. You can have all your different lines interact with each other. I know that I was far from the only kid to have Snake -Eyes interact with Boba Fett and Captain Power.

And please for the love of god please don’t do what Mattel and WWE does which is inflate the size of their figures to make them seem bigger. Kenny Omega isn’t bigger than Superman, don’t make his figure look this way.

Details Matter!

Toy collectors are picky, as I have seen wrestling fans are even more picky. Whomever gets the toy license has to be up to the task of getting every little detail right. Long gone are the days of just putting out a figure of something and hope it sells. Today’s collectors are looking for not just characters but specific looks of those characters. And they had better be done right too because if they are not, will you not only hear about it but it will not sell even when heavily discounted.

If I can highlight one of the things that Mattel does incredibly well with their Elite range of figures is keeping scale with all of the wrestlers mostly correct compared to their real life counterparts. This is a little thing that doesn’t sound like it should matter but many people do notice and when it is done is highly appreciated.

You have to Paint your Pretty Face!

Do not skimp on the paint apps. Sure it might cost an extra 4 cents in China but it is worth it. Many companies are now using “Face Printing” techniques to scary lifelike faces on figures. Having a product that looks better than everything else is what you should hope to have but you also don’t want to look markedly worse than what is out there.

Articulation: this is why they are not Statues.

Sure McFarlane made beautiful “figures” in the 90s but they are basically plastic statues. The industry has gone so much further from then that even McFarlane Toys has relented and started making highly articulated figures.

There is nothing worse than having a figure that you can’t get them to do whatever they do in their media. You don’t want a Spider-Man who can’t get into a four point crouch or a Batman who can’t throw a kick. The same is to be said for wrestling figures. I do feel this is a place where there can be innovation in wrestling figures and very interesting things could and should be done here.

Now the one place where you could skimp on this would be a lower articulation figure line at a much lower price point for little kids. I know the Mattel Basics line does ok with this and those giant Titan Heroes that Hasbro puts out are popular as well.

Accessorize!

This is something that has been hit or miss over the years. First things first, the market has spoken and extra sets of hands are pretty much a must have now. You need fists, you want to have hands that can grab or chop. The Bucks need to be able to “One Sweet”. It is one of those small costs for huge reward adding.

But do not forget actual accessories; championship belts, ring jackets, masks, Cracker Barrels they are important and help make someone buy your product over someone else’s.

MAKE IT SO IT CAN BE BOUGHT!

Distribution is a huge issue with toy lines these days. All too often something cool comes out but you can not get one without resorting to EBay and paying someone multiple times it’s price to have it.

You can have the greatest product in the world but if no one can get one it doesn’t matter. Whomever you deal with should be able to give you concrete distribution network information and be able to not only get the product out there quickly and effectively but to be able to resupply it in a timely manner as well. I imagine the first few waves of figures are going to be hot commodities, the partner should understand and be ready for this.

I wish everyone involved in AEW all the luck in the world. I am excited for this more than I have for anything in the business in quite some time.

Posted by Djarum, filed under Toys. Date: March 28, 2019, 4:12 pm | No Comments »

So I know I haven’t posted in such a long time. I guess I should probably change this. As some of you might already know I am a massive toy collector, especially Marvel Legends which I have been collecting since it’s introduction. As some of you may remember after Hasbro took over the line from Toy Biz I expressed my dismay with how they handled the line.

Well now a decade after acquiring the license Hasbro has hit their stride and not only has lived up to much of the Toy Biz product but in some cases has exceeded it. They have also released many figures that have either been major wants for years for like the recent Brown Suit Wolverine or Darkhawk or figures that no one ever expected to see like Disco era Dazzler or Nico from the Runaways. Hasbro has shown now that nearly anything is on the table. So here in no particular order is my own personal wants in the line.

White Suited Dr. Octopus

This has been my “white whale” for decades now. Doc Ock has always been my favorite Spider-Man villain and when I first started to get into comics this was the look he was sporting. The double breasted white suit was made most famous by Erik Larsen in the Revenge of the Sinister Six storyline. To me at least it changed poor Otto from a bumbling almost cartoonish villain to a more serious and credible threat and very visually striking. The figure of this would be a boon to Hasbro as well since they could use a second suited body, shorter and more stout. Sadly with how Hasbro functions this will likely end up as a Build a Figure which could be a blessing if we could get some fantastic and longer arms out of the deal.

Come on, he even got women during this time!

 

McFarlane Hulk

So Todd is most famous for his Spider-Man which was captured in plastic in the very first Spider-Man classics wave. What is just as good to me is his unique take on the Grey Hulk. Shorter and much wider than the traditional Hulk looks of the past with a pug nose and large pronounced brow it has always been a fan favorite look of the normally Green Goliath. Toy Biz made a half attempt at this version with the variant Marvel Icons Hulk. The head while trying to echo this look failed and the body did not match at all. This would likely have to be a BAF and I would like to see how they would attempt the character due to the tattered clothing. This would also be a great character for Diamond to try with their Marvel Select line.

The green tongue is such a great touch here.

 

Patch Wolverine

Since we finally got a proper Brown Suited Wolverine this is next on the list. The Patch alter ego of Wolverine has been another fan favorite look, most notably in various Madripoor stories in Marvel Comics Presents. Patch sitting in Princess Bar drinking is one of my favorite looks of the character. This would likely be a win/win for both collectors and Hasbro due to a suited body being useful for other characters and/or customs and Hasbro not having to worry about a Wolverine having to peg warm after being double packed like Old Man Logan is currently or a more extreme example the GOTG Iron Man which I am still seeing on shelves years later.

You could always add Mr. Fixit Hulk as well.

 

Safari Jacket Wonderman and Perez-era Avengers Beast

While both are needed you really can’t have one without the other. Like a good buddy cop movie these two just work great together. While we have seen Wonderman twice in his more recent duds, the safari jacket is most fans of the character’s favorite look. As for Beast, most fans today don’t realize that Beast was a Avenger for many, many years as he has been a X-Man for most of the last 3 decades. While I wouldn’t mind having a new, updated Jim Lee era Beast, having a George Perez style Beast. I have wondered if the recent Jackal figure was made in part to create this figure, if not it would be a great starting place.

Come on, how can you not want them together?

 

Magneto

It has been nearly 20 years and we have gotten several versions of Magneto yet none of them has hit the mark. The most recent attempt was in a Toys R Us exclusive X-Men wave which was very limited, impossible to find and still looked awful. Give us a proper Magneto with multiple heads to give different looks and do the character justice.

I can almost hear the X-men Arcade game now…

Kingpin

Now this is a figure I can’t figure out how we haven’t gotten another of yet. I would have put money down on having a Kingpin BAF in either one of the Spider-Man waves or the new Netflix wave arriving soon. Somehow Wilson Fisk has not been remade into plastic yet. We have gotten one Kingpin figure in the limited Toy Biz Two Packs at the tail end of their life. While it was a good figure for the time it has aged pretty badly and was never easy to find in the first place. A updated figure to take advantage of the character’s popularity due to the Daredevil Netflix series should be a no brainer. Hopefully we see it this year.

You know I miss characters smoking in comics…

 

Classic Thor

This is another one of those “How has this not happened?” figures. We have gotten two different classic Thor figures, one way back in Toy Biz’s third wave and the other in their ill received Giant Man Wal-Mart exclusive wave. That wave brings back bad memories for many collectors as it was a wave of many highly requested characters many of which were either poorly done and/or had very bad quality. In addition that the entire wave being near impossible to find left a sour taste in many people’s mouths. The Thor looked great for the time was incredibly fragile. Fast forward many years later, Thor is a huge property with several movies to his name. I was completely expecting this figure in the new Thor wave but it did not happen. One would think that it is just a matter of time but…

Walt Simonson did the best Thor!

 

So there we go, with SDCC right around the corner I would be utterly amazed if some of these don’t get announced. If they do Marvel and Hasbro can email me my No Prize.

Posted by Djarum, filed under Comics, Toys. Date: July 6, 2017, 4:41 pm | No Comments »

For those whom don’t know I am a huge comic book and action figure fan and collector. This time of the year is kind of like Christmas for a geek like myself, the San Diego Comic Con. This is when pretty much every major geeky thing is shown off in one way or another.  But I am getting away from myself here…

A several years ago Toy Biz started a line of action figures entitled Marvel Legends, which was sort of a revolution in the arena. In the time before the Marvel Legends figures you had one of two choices; small 5 inch figures of limited sculpting, paint and articulation or a nicely sculpted larger figure with almost no articulation aka a statue. The Marvel Legends figures were large 6 inch figures with fantastic sculpting, amazingly detailed paint and most importantly nearly limitless articulation at a very reasonable price point. As a little added bonus you got a little diorama and a comic book that the figure’s design was based of in the package.

This quantum leap not only sold very well but also brought many people whom had given up toy collecting back, like myself. As the line continued Toy Biz continued to improve the line with increasingly improved articulation and the addition of the “Build-A-Figure” concept in which you got a piece of a larger figure with each figure you bought to create a character that is too large or expensive to make on it’s own.

Fast forward to a few years ago in which Marvel announced that they had given the rights to make toys to Hasbro, whom is known for making Star Wars, G.I. Joe and Transformers among other brands. It was pretty much known that Hasbro would try to create a 3 3/4-inch scale line for the Marvel characters. Hasbro continued the Legends line in which they made many down right bizarre changes including raising the price, removing the comic book, reducing most of the paint applications from most figures, bad character selection and most disturbingly made several really disturbing sculpting changes to already shown figures. All of these changes were made to look even worse when compared to Mattel’s much better looking DC Universe Classics figures which use the same basic Marvel Legends concept and sold for cheaper.

After several lackluster waves and terrible reviews of the figures Hasbro came out with their obsession, the 3 3/4th inch scale Marvel Universe figures all while holding out completely on Marvel Legends news. The Marvel Universe figures have not garnered a very good response from the collector community for a multitude of reasons, most notably very, very poor sculpts and very high prices compared to similar lines such as GI Joe and Star Wars.

Now this week, Hasbro showed off some really fantastic looking Marvel Legends prototypes. Some of them long wanted characters, some obscure. There was a lack of many of the long time wants from the line namely characters such as a Jim Lee era Jean Grey, a Extremis Armor Iron Man or a Bucky Captain America, which the Universe figures have all three of, but it was nice to see something. But, Hasbro says that we will only see six of the nearly 20 figures shown.   Also, before the show longtime wanted Iron Man villains Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man were seen and received a good response but Hasbro announced that they will never be released.

A basic rule is that it is very hard to get a positive buzz about your product whatever it is a movie, video game, soda or toy. But, it is very, very easy to lose that positive buzz. Hasbro has done this repeatably with the Marvel license. If Hasbro wants to make the 3 3/4th inch figures then please by all means make them. If they are not interested in making 6 inch Marvel Legends type of figures anymore why don’t you let someone else make them?

I feel like the Marvel Select folks could do a excellent job at creating these figures. Their 7 inch figures are limited in many ways; a unpopular scale, limited articulation. Perhaps a move to 6 inch scale and perhaps setup a system like Mattel has in place with the Masters of the Universe Classics line in which we have a new figure every month would be exactly what would satisfy everyone. I would image they would be able to turn a profit with the limited amount of marketing, nearly no distribution and the amount of sculpting made on each figure. A Legends line would hopefully have more sculpting costs than the normal MOTU figure but I would imagine more people would be interested in good quality figures of not only highly wanted stuff like the Jean Grey but timely releases of new/revamped characters.

I honestly feel like that is the biggest sore spot for a comic book fan with the Marvel Legends line, Marvel should be using Hasbro/whomever as a way to market themselves and vice versa. When Marvel made Bucky Captain America, Hasbro should have had a Bucky Captain America figure out that same month or around that time. There should have been a entire Secret Invasion wave, imagine a X-Men or Illuminati Super Skrull, Skrull Queen, Mockingbird, Nick Fury and a Extremis Iron Man. Or a Dark Reign wave that has Iron Patriot, Marvel Boy, Daken, Female Loki and a Hank Pym Wasp. I mean these are just pulled out of my ass here but it would seem to me like it would be easier to sell a comic book based toy line that is dealing with current comics. Maybe include with each event wave a teaser comic like what we got when Dark Reign started to show people who might not be exposed to the comics, you know like kids these days, but also adults who may see a Bucky Captain America and wonder why he looks so weird and inside is a comic explaining it all and there is a new Captain America reader! It might also give Marvel the perfect way to get back into mass market comics and get comics back into places like a Wal-Mart or Supermarkets again.

But it is all woulda, shoulda, coulda and for whatever reason I am not in charge of anything at all.

Posted by Djarum, filed under Comics, Toys. Date: July 25, 2009, 3:55 am | No Comments »

Straight from SDCC the first shots of the Movie Master Ghostbusters figures of Peter Venkman, Winston Zeddemore and most surprisingly but very very welcome Walter Peck! Pictures from ToyNews International.

I honestly want these more than anything else in life. Hopefully someone at Mattel will see this and hook me up with some to review.

Ray

Winston

Dickless

Venkman

Egon 12

Venkman 12

Winston 12

Posted by Djarum, filed under Movies, News, Toys. Date: July 24, 2009, 7:32 pm | No Comments »

Utterly fantastic and featuring the voice talent of Jesse Falcon as M.O.D.O.K.

It puts my stop motion stuff to shame in the mouth movement department. Someone better tell me how it was done before I go mad!

Check it out in Higher Res and get more info here.

Posted by Djarum, filed under Comics, Toys. Date: February 13, 2009, 5:56 pm | 1 Comment »

Eat a dick, Hasbro.

Hasbro has officially said “Fuck You” to the collector community. After taking the Marvel license from Toy Biz several years ago and releasing lackluster product after product we were unhappy but making excuses and still glad we had product being released.

Fast forward to the last few months and little to no word out of Hasbro on the future to Marvel Legends. All we have received it more and more information about the 4 inch line that has been universally disliked by the collector community.

Then a ray of light last week, Jesse Falcon the head honcho for Marvel Toys at Toy Biz and now consultant for Hasbro posts this on the Fwoosh:

Hey Guys it’s Jesse

Long time no chat right! I’ve been reading a lot of gloom and doom about the 6″ Legends line. Well, I wanted to come on the Fwoosh and let you guys know that next weekend your going to see something I think is amazingly cool that will be happening with the 6″ Marvel Legends line. And I really wanted to come here and let you know that the 6″ line is alive and Hasbro has a very dedicated team that plans on making some very cool 6″ product over the next couple of years.

I also wanted to let you know that the 3.75″ line look’s amazing! If when you get them in hand you agree an I think you will you should thank the entire Hasbro crew because they all worked very hard on this line to make it what it is.

So when you get a second if you come to NYCC swing by the Marvel booth, and say hi!

I think your really going to like what you see!

Best,

Jesse

Everyone was excited, hope was given. Of course that had to change later in the week.

Hey Guys!

So I just found out that the 6″ news that I mentioned earlier will
actually be on display at SDCC, and Not NYCC!!!! (I got the SD and the
NY confused whoops!)

But please swing by the Marvel Booth this weekend at the NYCC and check
out
the new Marvel Universe 3.75″ figures Hasbro will have at the booth.
There’s going to be a lot of stuff there you are going to love!

Best!

Jesse

Not only did the guy lie, but also threw a plug for the stupid 4 inch line on top of it.

Then Straight from the NYCC this morning.

* Walmart exclusive 3 3/4″ Marvel Universe 2-packs called Gigantic Battles. This 2-pack will consist of a figure will be around 12-13″ and another regular 3 3/4″ in size and estimate cost of $25.00. These 2-packs will be hitting Walmart in Fall of 2009.

* Exclusively to Toys R’ Us will be 3-packs. One set will be Spider-Man and his amazing friends with Spider-Man, Firestar and Iceman.

* The Marvel Legends 2-packs with Iron Man that was shown at SDCC originaly are now Toys R’ Us and Diamond Previews exclusives.

* Hasbro is going to be running a poll on their website starting very soon where people vote for their top 5 characters they want made.

* Nick Fury is a mail-away exclusive figure.

* Marvel Legends Skrull/Kree 2-pack is a Diamond Previews exclusive.

* Marvel Legends is not dead.  There will still be new product coming for that line, but nothing new for 2009.  What we know about already is what is coming.  There will be more stuff next year but….

* Their focus is on the 3.75″ line.  Hasbro feels like their strenght is in 3.75″ and they want to play to their strengths.

* There are no vehicles or play sets planned for the first year but it’s till on the table as they also feel like that is one of their strengths. But the focus of the line at first is increasing the depth of character in the line as soon as possible.  Jason asked how difficult is would be to reuse/retool some GI JOE vehicles for the Marvel Line.  They said it would be difficult, because of the different teams and tooling in different places, but potentially not impossible.

* The entire Marvel Universe is open to them.

* There will be singles, 2-packs, 3-packs and boxed sets.  There will also be exclusives in the line.  Wal-Mart will have some exclusives.

* Movie lines will be in the 3.75″ scale.  For most movies there will be both a movie and a comic version line running side by side.

I really can’t wait until all of these lines fail for Hasbro in a most specatular way. At least I don’t have to worry about spending any money on Marvel toys this year.

But I just found what I am going to

Ghostbusters

Check them out here.

Posted by Djarum, filed under Comics, News, Toys. Date: February 6, 2009, 6:04 pm | No Comments »