Sunday, October 31, 2010

Canceled Action Figure Cavalcade: Now Playing

McFarlane Toys' Movie Maniacs line consisted of different characters from various films, mostly horror. It was pretty revolutionary in its time and other toy companies have since picked up the torch, trying to contiue what McFarlane started. One of those companies was SOTA Toys with their "Now Playing" line. SOTA released three waves of Now Playing and a fourth Land of the Dead wave but they had more in he works. SOTA hit a rough patch and their Now Playing line was a casualty.

Figures SOTA weren't able to release include a newly sculpted Killer Klown from Killer Klowns from Outer Space.(They had made one already.) There was also Herbert West from Re-Animator and the Leprechaun from Leprechaun. (Sadly there was no news of a Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood variant.) There was also Captain Westlake from what I'm guessing is the 2005 remake of The Fog, because I've seen the original and there weren't any purple skinned people.

SOTA produced a figure of the mummy Imhotep from The Mummy Returns and they were going to follow that with an Anubis Warrior from the same movie. The Anubis Warrior has the distinction of being canceled from two different toylines. Jakks Pacific planned one for their Mummy Returns line but it wasn't released. As you can see Jakks' Anubis was not screen accurate. Jakks probably didn't have finalized reference material to work with, unlike SOTA whose Anubis was coming out after the movie had been released.

One figure in particular was canceled even before the line ended. SOTA was first to acquire the SAW license. It seems something went awry with the licensor and NECA picked up the rights soon after. SOTA's Jigsaw was sculpted in sort of a martial arts stance, which isn't necessarily better or worse than NECA's "boo" pose. I couldn't find a picture of Jigsaw but here's pic of the Billy puppet he would have come with. You can see part of Jigsaw's robe on the left. I guess he was off limits for photography, but like I said I do remember seeing their prototype.

One of the figures in the first wave of Now Playing figures was the Nazi Demon from a nightmare sequence in An American Werewolf In London. SOTA put out a nice figure but it's still an odd choice, particularly for so early into the line. They were likely holding back the werewolf because they knew it'd be a popular release and they wanted to maintain interest in the line. But of course it was canceled before it could come out. David as the werewolf was to come in a two-pack with his dead friend Jack. I'm not sure but I'm guessing this would have been a boxset.

SOTA had a boxset in the works bases on the Tremors movies with Burt Gummer aiming a gun at a Graboid coming out of the ground. Of all of SOTA's stuff to have not been produced I'm most disappointed by this. This was probably our only chance to ever get an action figure of the dad from Family Ties. Oh and the Graboid looked pretty cool too.

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