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Action Figures Based On Independent Comic Book Characters, Will They Sell?

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I think it depends on who they include in the lines really.

With Toybiz and their Topcow,Savage Dragon and Invincible figures they will definetly sell but I'm not sure if they would sell that well at retail.I think it should be more like DC Direct and sell through comic shops,specialty/hobby stores and etailers.

As for Shocker Toys Indi Spotlight.I really dont think it will succeed.They just have too many obscure characters.At least some people know of Darkness,Witchblade,Savage Dragon and Invincible.

I'll be buying the Toybiz line.

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Whether the Indie Spotlight series succeeds or not, only time will tell. But Shocker Toys have plenty of top quality--and famous--characters in the lineup. Take a look at said lineup for yourselves...

 

Dick Tracy, Lone Ranger, The Phantom, The Tick, Solar:Man of the Atom, Magnus Robot Fighter , Jack Staff, Nexus, The Moth, Retro Rocket, Strangers in Paradise, ShadowHawk, Scud: The Disposable Assassin, ZAPT!, Markus Fang, WildGuard, Earthboy Jacobus, Venger, Thundergod, Robotika, Jetcat, Atomic City, Nira-X, The Skunk, Deadworld, Realm, Jack the Lantern, The Wraith, Metropol, Eddy Current, Liberty Girl and Flare, Honor of the Damned, Katharsis, Bounty Killer, Bushido, Airshell, Unit Primes, Atomika, Zoom Suit, Billy:Demon Slayer, Forces, The Rift, Drunken Monkey, Moonstone Publishing, Badger, Grimjack, Ninja High School, Warrior Nun, Gold Digger, OZF5, Fallen Angel, Tyrant, The Hypernaut, N-Man, The Fury, kabuki, Pistolfist, Nifty Comics and Fist of Justice.

 

Dick Tracy, the Phantom, the Lone Ranger, Nexus, Badger, Shadowhawk, Scud, Kabuki, Solar Man of the Atom, Magnus Robot Fighter, characters from Moonstone Publishing...some very well known properties there. Yes, there are some lesser known figures, but c'mon, go to your nearest toy store and check the shelves. There are lesser known characters there, there are unknown/generic characters there. And they sell. So why can't the Indie Spotlight series? The potential is there, and cannot be denied.

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Just as long as they remember that they're a niche market line and plan and market accordingly, I don't see any reason why these shouldn't be able to make solidly profitable lines. Also, I think one of the keys to success will be mixing the more well known cult/indie characters in with some of the lesser knowns, and case packing them accordingly. Especially during initial waves where they're trying to get a foothold.

 

Sure Toybiz has a lot of solidly popular characters such as Witchblade, Savage Dragon, The Darkness and Invincible through the Top Cow/Image arrangement, but Shocker seems to have picked up (last I heard anyway) a lot of classic characters such as The Phantom, The Lone Ranger and Dick Tracy, along with cult indies like Kabuki, Scud, Grimjack and Shadowhawk, to name but a few. Like I say, just as long as they're clever and careful with who they make, how and when, and, most importantly of all, just as long as the quality is there, then these have a good chance of being a low level success methinks.

 

We'll see.

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They'll be hard pressed to actually make a profit. People that show online, even still, aren't that many. And like it or not, toys are a child's play thing. Marvel legends sell because kids, CHILDREN, talk their parents into buying toys for them. That's the plain and simple demographics.

 

Do I want to see this take off? Defenitly. Will it? They're not going to have it easy.

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It's very niche, but I think they can sell. Obviously they won't sell like Spider-man, Batman, Superman or even random characters like Wonderman, but I believe the market is big enough for them to be profitable.

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oh yeah, they'll sell if the quality is there, I've never gone to a toy store or comic shop or whatever shop, and seen figs that look great not sell... now if you recall the garbage figures from back in the day like savage dragon, wildcats, ect.. those didn't sell bc the quality wasnt there, & just because they had toons w/ them, that doesn't work for kids anymore...

 

so as long as the figs look great(e.g. PITT) it will sell, They will all sell... #US1#

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I think they'll sell, so long as both companies are smart about their market, and realiase that they shouldn't expect the same success as Spider-man, Batman, Superman, or X-men properities. They would probably have stronger sucess in both the comic book and collector toy stores, however, they could still do well in retail, espeically if kids or parents are familiar with the characters. However, these will most likely be aimed for collectors, but the thing about the toy business is that you never truly know what will click with kids(As I'm sure some of you are aware).

 

Heck, I've sometimes see little kids look at some of the McFarlane Toys that have monsters and dragons and what not at Toys R Us, and they say how cool it looks and sometimes, the parents say the say thing and may buy it for them. And you know McFarlane does creepy looking monsters from time and again. 1 of the problems with retail stores that they may have to keep in mind is that they can't "over sex up" any of their female characters(So Witchblade in just her armour maybe a no-no. She would have to be wearing clothing and armour), or maybe make certian toys look really creepy or "Bloody/Violent"(So any blood or stuff like a cut off arm or head of a victom maybe a no-no as well), otherwise, you'll get some parent groups saying how "Immoral" these toys are.

 

That said, I truly believe that these lines can sell, so long as they are marketed properly, that the waves mix familiar/famous characters with some that aren't, and that the retail stores give them a chance by at least giving them some small space(At least as a tiral run for a couple of waves and then decide if they are worth continuing. The only problem with that is that it may take a year or 2 before both lines really get going).

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hmmmm considering a lot of people owned Spawn toys before ever reading a Spawn comic....

 

i'd say there is a GOOD chance these might succeed.

 

the Pitt figure is definitely going to be in my possession. thats for sure.

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Here's another independent character figure that may also be coming out soon. The character is (KADE) from Arcana Studios.

 

http://groups.msn.com/TOYDESIGNZ/wickedpics.msnw?Page=2

 

The toy was sculpted in conjuction with Shocker toys and Southern Island toys. Just an inside tip. Z.

Look at this site. Look at all 4 pages to see various works, and in progress shots of the KADE sculpt.

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I'm curious to see how they turn out.

I don't recognize 3/4 of that lengthy list so I certainly won't be collecting them all.

Price is a factor as well.

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I'd say it depends on the character and the treatment.

 

If the character is not in the public-eye--meaning its not been widely seen for a while like the Lone Ranger, or The Phantom then it'll appeal to a small niche group and not much else.

 

The same thing with a lot of small-press comicbook characters.

 

Something like Scud would be the same as the above two, mostly because the designs of the character is somewhat plain and there's no other supporting media for it.

Consumers tend to be skittish about properties/characters they don't know--unless it attached to something they do know.

 

My 10 year old step-son and his friends went about six months thinking that Doctor Strange was a Spiderman BAD GUY, until I explained who he actually was. Some of the kids had bought him simply because he was a "Marvel" character and since they knew SOME Marvel characters, they figured he fit in there somewhere.

That kind of skewed association is a strong trait in consumers--I experience myself to a degree--and it can affect sales.

 

The Top Cow Legends is a pretty good upcoming example of this. I'm not a huge fan ( hardly a fan at all actually) of the Image characters to begin with, but the figures that LOOK COOL will likely be on my shopping list.

 

That means the sale, in those cases, will come down to aesthetics--the actual/physical appeal of the product.

 

Some characters like.......Grimjack or Kabuki, I know well enough, but they just do not interest me in any form.

 

If they have the things I look for in a figure: lots of articulation, and good sculpts, then I'll bite--otherwise I'll pass on a lot of this stuff.

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I think it depends on WHAT they intend to market, rather than who.

 

"Action" figure lines are tending to either movie away from the "action" aspects (ie. articulation) in favor of static poses or limited articulation.

 

The more detail, the more expensive as well.

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"Action" figure lines are tending to either movie away from the "action" aspects (ie. articulation) in favor of static poses or limited articulation.

 

 

No there not

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"Action" figure lines are tending to either movie away from the "action" aspects (ie. articulation) in favor of static poses or limited articulation.

 

 

No there not

 

 

if they know whats good for them, they'll keep the articulation.

 

i can deal with McF and Neca being all static, they're not all that the world of toys can offer.

 

Pitt being as articulated (and bad ass) as he is....thats a big factor on whether or not i'll buy him.

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If Toy Biz thinks these will replace the cash cow they had with Marvel Legends, they they are smoking something. I think people will pick up a few characters here and there, but come on, how many people are gonna pay money for Freshmen figures?

 

With Shocker, not to be mean but they only have up to go. So for them I think its worthwhile. I hope we see some improvement with that Shadowhawk sculpt though cause its kinda lack luster as it is right now.

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They may not be super popular, but I think they'll sell if they are good sculpts, articulation, paint apps, quality and price.

 

Shadowhawk, Savage Dragon, Witchblade, Invincible, and Kabuki are just as well known to the overall public as characters like Omega Red, Doctor Strange, Namor, Longshot, and Luke Cage, Iron Fist, or Baron Zemo.

 

Sure the Marvel figures have a logo they can throw on those guys to make them a little more appealing, but ultimatey, if these figures can be succesful, so can Indy ones.

 

Collectors are the main ML market anyway. If I can't get alot of ML because they sell so fast, neither are the kids.

 

Comic shop route is a horrible idea. On that small market prices have to be high, and then they won't be competing with crapy looking ben 10 or Avatar toys, they'll be competing with the fan base, DCD, Street Fighter, and Marvel Select figures. There are plenty of great looking DCD figures out there I really want, of characters I love, but because of price, and product saturation at the LCS, I never bother to get any. And neither does almost anyone else.

 

However, if I own multiple Superman DC Heroes figures, even though I hate Superman. Because of price, and the fact that they are available at retail.

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They'll be hard pressed to actually make a profit. People that show online, even still, aren't that many. And like it or not, toys are a child's play thing. Marvel legends sell because kids, CHILDREN, talk their parents into buying toys for them. That's the plain and simple demographics.

 

Do I want to see this take off? Defenitly. Will it? They're not going to have it easy.

 

Sorry to dissagree, but I just can't ignore this one.

From what I've seen, it's more the other way around, the parents are the pickers & choosers the Marvel or DC characters for their kids, unless the "kids" are in the 14yo & up range, or otherwise old enough to actually go to a comic shop and buy their own comics.

At least 85% of the people who shop at my local comic shop are at 15+, and even the few younger kids who go in there are escorted by parents or adult members of the family, who are introducing them to the fine world of comics.

 

There are younger kids who read comics and buy the action figures because of the comics, but it's primarily the adult collectors who are fanning the fire here.

How many 5-6yo kids actually know much about most comic characters? Do they know anything outside the cartoon media? Outside of their parents, cartoons tend to be kids first introduction to popular comic characters, and it branches from there.

 

I think it's a media based misconception that action figures and comic books are "kids" things, just like the "video games are for kids" that I heard people say all the time when I was in my early 20s, but now statistics show that the average gamer is 32!

 

I've seen several polls on various web sites that would also indicate that kids under the age of 14 actually make up the smallest portion of consumers for even such lines as Marvel Legends.

I think such polls may be a bit unfair when taking into account that younger kids may not have an equal opportunity to vote online, but even so, the online collector comunities are dominated by adults, not kids.

 

With all that being said, it should be a no brainer that "independant" comic characters are specificly an adult media art form, and any figures based on such should be made with that in mind.

I cannot imagine any company trying to do these in the volume of mass market items such as DC Superheroes or Marvel Legends, as there would just simply not be the consumer base to support that level of production.

 

"Success" would totally depend on evaluating just how many potential consumers there are for a said comic, so I would look into how many units are being sold to begin with. You could knock at least a third or half off that number as a starting point. If they're selling 10,000 of a specific comic per week or month, I wouldn't make more than about 5,000 figures at most.

As far as outlets go, I would stick with comic shops, very few specialty stores, and mainly an online source.

 

I think some independant comic character have a greater visual appeal & potential to make an "impulse" sale than others, so that may be a factor to take into consideration.

For example, I doubt if anyone who has NOT read or heard of SCUD,(Disposable Assassin) would be too inclined to buy a figure that looks like a Stickfa, but something like PITT might catch the attention of the casual figure collector without the comic influance.

 

For me, just like with any comic based action figures, it it just depends on wether I like the way they look or not.

I love the Hellboy comic figures, but I wouldn't touch the JL stuff with a ten foot pole. @firedevil@

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As a lifelong collector of toys I remember it all beginning with noticing a cool toy truck named Optimus Prime and then the talking Marvel Super Heroes.....point is, cool toys will sell. Quality a stronger advertisement than comics or commercials. Many Legends fans don't know squat about the comics and all of them will be on board here just b/c they like toys.

 

I also feel DC and Marvel are outdated, many people collecting these lines are older. The comics boom came around the same time Image was formed and that's not a coincidence, they were edgier and hipper not to mention cooler looking. That Pitt figure will be a favorite and others will follow. Not everyone read Spawn comics in 1994, but that turned out pretty well. The TopCow will not have the anchors like Spidey and Wolverine, but it will be a different brand and should sell itself. Many of the coolest looking Marvel characters (Spidey, Venom, Omega Red, Ghost Rider, Mr. Sinister...) were updated by Image artists. Now we can get a whole line of them.

 

I'm hoping it does well and people welcome the change; there is more to comics than Marvel.

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Whether the Indie Spotlight series succeeds or not, only time will tell. But Shocker Toys have plenty of top quality--and famous--characters in the lineup. Take a look at said lineup for yourselves...

 

Dick Tracy, Lone Ranger, The Phantom, The Tick, Solar:Man of the Atom, Magnus Robot Fighter , Jack Staff, Nexus, The Moth, Retro Rocket, Strangers in Paradise, ShadowHawk, Scud: The Disposable Assassin, ZAPT!, Markus Fang, WildGuard, Earthboy Jacobus, Venger, Thundergod, Robotika, Jetcat, Atomic City, Nira-X, The Skunk, Deadworld, Realm, Jack the Lantern, The Wraith, Metropol, Eddy Current, Liberty Girl and Flare, Honor of the Damned, Katharsis, Bounty Killer, Bushido, Airshell, Unit Primes, Atomika, Zoom Suit, Billy:Demon Slayer, Forces, The Rift, Drunken Monkey, Moonstone Publishing, Badger, Grimjack, Ninja High School, Warrior Nun, Gold Digger, OZF5, Fallen Angel, Tyrant, The Hypernaut, N-Man, The Fury, kabuki, Pistolfist, Nifty Comics and Fist of Justice.

 

Dick Tracy, the Phantom, the Lone Ranger, Nexus, Badger, Shadowhawk, Scud, Kabuki, Solar Man of the Atom, Magnus Robot Fighter, characters from Moonstone Publishing...some very well known properties there. Yes, there are some lesser known figures, but c'mon, go to your nearest toy store and check the shelves. There are lesser known characters there, there are unknown/generic characters there. And they sell. So why can't the Indie Spotlight series? The potential is there, and cannot be denied.

 

Potential, yes. In Shocker's hands, no.

 

Shocker has had options on characters in the past and dropped the ball EVERY time. Just to name a few: 2000AD characters (such as Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper), Bucky O'Hare and AC Comics (ie Femforce). All of which are better known than the vast majority of the characters Shocker supposedly has contracts with currently.

 

I'll believe Shocker is capable of pulling this off when I see the toys on the shelf. Until then, the best bet for the indy characters you all want is Toy Biz.

 

Need more proof? Look at the Shadowhawk proto (or the Gwar protos) vs the Pitt proto. HUGE difference.

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You will never see any of Shocker Toys stuff available to buy...ever.The keep promising and promising but they never come through.They suck.They should just shut up shop and stop giving people hopes.They have the worst reputation anyway it's no wonder ToyBiz was able to steal away their biggest contracts.

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All I gotta say is Shocker better put out the Scud figure (and a drywall while they're at it) and they better not eff it up. THats my fave comic character ever, and I need one on my shelf.

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I'm gonna have to shadow what I said on the Fwoosh

 

 

-------------------------

 

When I first saw the Pitt teaser image I KNEW they were from ToyBiz, but I couldn't figure out -why- they were doing this. I thought maybe they were producing figures for another company like Sideshow to distribute or teaming up with McFarlane. Or maybe they were becoming like Gentle Giant who does sculpts for al sorts of companies. This line looks like every customizer's dream come true, a plethora of the figures they use to create using Marvel Legends figures. How many Riplcaw, Darkness, and Judge Dredd customs have we seen? Now everyone will be able to own one.

 

Hmmm, lemme go back a little. I don't have my copy of ToyFare yet but I did see the pics, and those on the wizarduniverse page. They look AMAZING. If ToyBiz (ahem, Marvel Toys, heh) keeps the standards of the last good sets they produced, being ML 15 and the House of M Boxed Set, these will turn out to be completly baddass figures. I mean look at the Darkness. Did they finally listen and learn how to plug up the joint holes with armor pieces? It looks like there's gems glued over them on the elbows, perfect. I really, REALLY want to read Jesse Falcon's interview... but for me it would probably raise more questions than answer.

 

Now, I can't stand behind this line 100%, and I'll tell you why. If you asked me what ToyBiz was going to do after giving up their Marvel license, the absolute-last-on-the-list-die-before-I'd-guess thing would be independant comic characters from the 90's with no current movie ties. ToyBiz (ah, sorry, Marvel Toys) lives by the credo, "Make popular figures from popular lines." The same company (and man, Jesse Falcon) who said nobody would buy a shiny humanoid robot Ultron and gave us some Power Rangers villan instead.

 

ToyBiz is use to making decisions for the fans, not listening to them. This independant line will be 100% fan-sold. I mean there's not a single 7-year old out there right now that knows who Darkness is or reads his dad's old issues of YoungBlood. Unless I see a written press statement with Jesse Falcon's signature and the rest of the ToyBiz exec's stating "We finally realize that comic fans do exist and know what they want to buy, so we've started listening and producing figures accordingly." I'm gonna call this line a crapshoot. It's either going to be the turning point in the way we think of ToyBiz, or they won't treat it correctly and let it flounder when some new movie pops up that they can make figures from.

 

Bottom line is, I don't trust ToyBiz in handling this line correctly, and for good reasons like the ones presented. Don't get me wrong, they've done an outstanding job recently in sculpt, paint, and quality. They could easily rival McFarlane toys in 'wow' factor. But Jesse and who knows how many others sitting at the big table don't listen, or haven't in the past. I'd like to be proven wrong about this however, and this Indy line could very well be the next big thing. I hope they get other liscences, head into movie characters like NECA and mcFarlane, start making Zelda figures and who knows what like they use to.

 

So prove me wrong ToyBiz, show me that you'll take this line seriously enough to give it 110%. As long as they're up to par, I'll do my part and buy every one of them. I'll mention them across Forums, tell my friends, post them on my page, and act the fan. Just don't ignore me, and the others like you've done in the past. Listen to us, for we're the ones buying your products. Good luck with it!

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I don't think the characters chosen will be the biggest selling point. I think it is purely the figure design and quality.

 

take Mortal Kombat for example... I love the game and the characters are all badass... but, the figures suck! So I don't own any of them.

 

With Shocker toys, sure, the have some great character to choose from, and I would love to own many of them.. but I don't think they make very good toys... so I will pass.

 

As for Toybiz's line... I LOVE Marvel Legends styled figures.. and I will buy pretty much anything of that design style and quality.

 

I will buy pretty much every figure Toybiz decides to make if they fit right in with Marvel Legends.... and yes, I am more excited for the possibility of this line than I am for the Hasbro stuff..

 

Just thinking about a set of Youngblood figures that fit perfectly with my Marvel Legends makes me wanna dance.. But if they are just the Topcow characters, which wouldn't be as great as the whole Image library, thats cool too.. good figures make good toys.. as long is the character is half cool, I'll buy him in ML form

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