Thursday, August 20, 2009

State Of The Action Figures

Playthings.com has an article up about the action figure industry and fandom. It's a pretty good read. I think it sums up a lot about the hobby fairly well. It touches on aspects such as the move to 3.75" scale figure, the build-a-figure phenomenon, and what happens when the action figures themselves become marketable characters.

The article includes quotes from Micheal Crawford, a toy reviewer I've been reading for as long as I've had internet access, and it features a term he's coined "Nerd Hummel". I'm all for the popularization of "Nerd Hummel" but I wouldn't lump Urban Vinyl figures into that category. I suppose they fit but when I hear "Nerd Hummel" I think of statues and those action figures that lack any action. It is cool to see how much Urban Vinyl is catching on with even some Targets carrying them.

Todd McFarlane has some choice words in the article. He mentions how many of the retailers that used to carry his stuff no longer exist. He also doesn't think video game toylines are being given a fair shake. He also calls the toy companies to task for learning the wrong lessons from success. He hits the nail on the head with his example of the Hulk Hands which spawned Shrek and King Kong hands and Thing feet. The biggest thing to come out of this article though might be the covert announcement that McFarlane is producing figures based on next year's Prince of Persia movie.

Shifting gears a bit, Dread Central has an article about Mezco Toys of which I've been interested in lately. They clarified the situation with the Cinema of Fear line. Mezco has lost the licenses for Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th but they still have the license for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Originally New Line Cinema packaged the films as a single license but apparently the rights to Chainsaw have reverted back to Tobe Hooper. (That is an intriguing development even apart from the merchandising. So no more Chainsaw movies, at least not with the Hewitt family?) Mezco still has the rest of the year to release Nightmare and Friday products. They had quite a bit in the pipeline and I hope they can get it all out there.

They also have the newly acquired Halloween II license. That awesome looking hobo Micheal Myers will come out next year along with Leatherface from the third TCM. The more traditional looking Micheal comes out later this year and will have to compete with a re-release of the NECA figure from the first movie. Will NECA and Mezco be able to both survive and thrive side by side?

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