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.

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

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