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Todd McFarlane Talks Raising Prices, WB's No Gun Policy And More


JayC
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ShartimusPrime this week interviewed Todd McFarlane from McFarlane Toys where they talked about things like the raising price of action figures as well as the policy Warner Bros. has who of course owns DC Comics in not letting their licensed action figures to include plastic guns with them as accessories.

For the rising prices of action figures, Todd talks about reasons why prices are going up. He mentions the normal things we often hear like the rising costs of freight shipping, but he also mentions things like how large retailers will charge companies penalties if they don't have their products to market on time. So for instance if the newest wave of DC Multiverse that is supposed to be out in March doesn't arrive on time he gets penalized by the retailer. He also mentioned that with the shipping issues, it's not just about getting products from overseas factories to the US, but once hear there are also manpower shortages going on at the shipyards. So there aren't enough people to unload all the back logged stuff from the cargo ships which are playing a big part with product delays.

Todd goes on to say that he is able to keep prices down on his figures at least a little longer than the big guys because McFarlane Toys isn't a publicly traded company and he doesn't have to worry about maximizing profits for shareholders. Being his own boss he doesn't have someone screaming in his ear that prices need to go up asap so they can make more money.

For me I wouldn't mind paying a little more if we got additional accessories with the figures. Doing multiples or variants of the same figures just to get an unmasked head or alternate hands I personally find more annoying than prices of a figure going up a couple dollars. I don't know if everyone in the hobby agrees with me on that, but that's just my 2 cents.

When it comes to the Warner Bros. Policy of not allowing plastic guns to be included with action figures based on their properties, Todd explains he has no say in that and has no choice but to abide by the IP holders wishes for things like that. The IP owner own the license and they get to call the shots. Todd goes on to explain that never once has WB asked his opinion about that policy.

Todd does suggests that they are looking at possible workarounds like doing generic weapons packs that would be sold on the McFarlane store. This is something we've seen Mezco already start to do for their One:12 Collective line.

I will say personally, a generic weapons pack, especially if it's expensive doesn't excite me to much, mainly because I already have plenty of generic weapons from older figures I've collected sitting in a drawer. It's the more specific weapons like the riffle Bloodsport uses or even Peacemakers pistol and holster that I don't have, and are sorely missing from those figures McFarlane did for the Suicide Squad movie. My guess is things like that are unique enough however that I don't think they could include them in a generic weapons pack. Maybe I am wrong, but I don't see myself paying for weapons packs filled with generic weapons like UZI's, M-16's or 45 pistols. I understand this problem isn't Todd's fault and lies solely on the lap of WB's, and likely there isn't much Todd can do here, but its still frustrating from a collectors stand point.
 



Todd also talks about the side-eye and will be pulling back on including extreme side-eyes for his figures. Maybe a 50/50 mix of straight looks and ones that are slightly looking to one direction. He admits that it was an experiment that didn't go over as well as he had hoped.

Todd also talks about things like doing unique Batman figures and the award they won from NPD for DC Multiverse in 2020 for being the top-selling action figure line in the US and Canada. He also talks about the problems with selling lots a female based action figures in the boys action figure aisle.

McFarlane-WB-No-Guns.jpg

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Ahh, love that WB logic. We're going to make these incredibly violent, bloody films and shows that we know kids will watch, but God forbid we include a little plastic gun with the action figure.

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They can sell specific weapons in packs. Super7 got around the gun issue with their new Thundercats character by including it with her space cycle. It's a $175 gun, but if you want it then you've got to get it or wait until someone lists it online or a fake one.

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I own a firearm, but I am not a "gun guy". I have no burning need to have action figures with guns, unless its ACCURATE TO THE CHARACTER. There is zero sense to a company making a "no gun" policy for their action figure characters, and at the exact same time making movies and television shows showcasing those exact characters, firing these weapons off, soaked in blood, wreaking havoc, slow mo montages, etc. This is irrational on the part of the WB, and just another reason for me not to buy this line.

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3 hours ago, Atlantis said:

I own a firearm, but I am not a "gun guy". I have no burning need to have action figures with guns, unless its ACCURATE TO THE CHARACTER. There is zero sense to a company making a "no gun" policy for their action figure characters, and at the exact same time making movies and television shows showcasing those exact characters, firing these weapons off, soaked in blood, wreaking havoc, slow mo montages, etc. This is irrational on the part of the WB, and just another reason for me not to buy this line.

Exactly. I'm not expecting every figure to have a gun but if it pertains to the character's design or abilities it should. You shouldn't have to be a "Gun Guy" to appreciate simple character accuracy. WB just keeps shooting (pun intended) itself in the foot. Not a huge fan of McFarlane figures but I've been know to pick up a few when they tickle my fancy, such as Deadshot and Bloodsport, but this stupidity has lead me to create my own "No McFarlane" policy and I suspect many people will follow suit. Be sure to thank WB for cutting your legs out from under you Todd. Then again, it's not like Batman carries any guns anyway. Nevermind. Carry on as usual Todd.

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I was hoping to hear McFarlane could do a workaround and release weapons packs on his store and boom this interview covered that! Sounds good on paper- let's put it into practice! Hopefully he'll also include specific weapons on specific figures- like Jay C said. Yes, their pro-woke policy is ridiculous and I'm not surprised they didn't ask Todd about his opinion- they don't need to and won't. This is what the most powerful players or seat holders in a massive company like WB do apparently- make dumb decisions like this. I don't mind the price of an average figure going up a few dollars but now that I know why- shareholders being greedy and wanting more and forcing a company to do so- that annoys me more than anything. Being told, well it's covid, well it's inflation- never impressed me or swayed me one bit. I also don't know why Todd wanted to do an experiment with the side eyes thing- his whole reasoning behind it- never made sense to me, I'm glad he listened to the fans and will cease and desist on that lol. I do also find it annoying to have to waste money on a whole other figure just for a different head- or on two packs that have one figure you want but one that was already previously released. That needs to stop lol.

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I'm surprised what Toddy Mac was saying about female figures. Personally I wish he would release more female figs. They don't have to be all female waves or anything like that. I just would like to see some classic comic versions of characters like Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, etc.

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the only person who seems to know what he is doing well in toy industry, amen to Todd indeed

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Todd definitely likes talking about how awesome he is but the overall interview was good and informative. Alot of questions we ve had about what and why he does things like the trigger fingers and the side eyes were pretty much answered. I dont think its a good idea that he approaches his figures like art when people are wanting to pose these things and he sees a cut as bad and axes it even tho alot of the time articulation tends to do that anyways.. Like I get the ugliness but its better to have articulation than to make it just another staction figure that hes known for. Like whats the point of articulation if it cant move? If it looks bad, figure out a better cut instead of leaving it out entirely. (they are art but how he approaches that concept doesnt make sense to me) 

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