Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cancelled Action Figure Cavalcade: The Celebrity Likeness Edition

Licensing contracts sometimes give actors approval over how their likeness can be used for merchandise. Sometimes this means the actor can keep a toy based on their likeness from being released. So Lucy Liu and Beyonce Knowles can make it so that the Kill Bill and Austin Powers lines are missing O-Ren Ishii and Foxy Cleopatra figures respectively.

In a particularly odd case Playmates couldn't use Christian Bale's likeness for their Terminator Salvation line, despite the fact there are a multitude of toys using Bale's likeness even ones based Terminator Salvation made by Hot Toys. I suspect this might be Playmates' fault. You get the sense that they didn't completely know what they were doing. I read an interview where the toy designers admitted the reason their Endoskeleton figures have open jaws was because they based them off of a broken prop. Had they'd never seen a Terminator Endoskeleton before? It's too bad because the unused John Connor head sculpt shows the potential the line could have had. It's definitely leagues better than what Playmates chose to release.

1 comment:

Dave Strohmenger said...

There was also a Tinker Bell figure planned for the Hook movie line, but Julia Roberts wouldn't approve the likeness. I remember reading that they resculpted it 4 or 5 times but couldn't get her approval. I've never seen a picture of the prototype. I don't know if anyone outside of Mattel has.