Well another year is almost over and another set to begin. It seems to be getting more and more difficult to find interesting things to report on. Let’s take a look at the state of the industry through my eyes.
Mattel completely abandoned 2013 after telling us BIG things were coming. From Toy Fair through the SDCC they had nothing of consequence. They literally begged people to sign up for their over priced and mystery filled toy subscription program. Let’s face some facts here. If you’re going to ask someone for hundreds of dollars I think it only fair that you tell them what it is you are going to sell them. Using old parts and repainting them to call them “new” characters isn’t going to do it! I don’t collect anything Mattel produces. The only bright spot from my point of view is their uber popular WWE line. The scanning technology they use, the ever changing line up and the attention to detail is quite remarkable. Toy Fair is right around the corner. Let’s hope they won’t try to continue to pull a dead horse through the toy aisle.
Hasbro is the big boy on the block. Having Marvel Legends, G.I. Joe, Transformers and Star Wars makes you king. With the new SW and Transformer movies coming I can only imagine what will be churning out of their factories. Nothing fake or fancy, Hasbro just continues to move forward. Love them or hate them they know how to do it right.
Sideshow is a juggernaut. The partnership with Hot Toys is a gold mine. Of course, HT is THE premenent maker of 12 inch figures hands down. The statues and busts are fantastic. Truly a bright spot for collectors with an above average amount of cash in their pockets. I look forward to 2014 and what SSC has to offer.
NECA is a monster. A plethora of licenses and product each and every year. I just wish it was easier to shoot their SDCC booth. I hate the glass.
Kotobukiya makes some truly sexy female busts and statues. I personally love the ice trays, but that’s just me. Their super hero product is spot on and very much sought after. It will be very interesting to see what they have for the coming year.
McFarlane is sort of an after thought these days (at least in my opinion). They are still making sports figures but I don’t see much of them here. Their Walking Dead product is cool but I’m not so sure that it will hold up under the competition that’s coming from overseas this year (ThreeZero).
Diamond Select Toys is a true bright spot. I think their Mini Mates line is really cool. After all of this time it’s still going strong.That’s the tale of the tape. Their Marvel Select line is very well done. It’s always a pleasure to check them out to see what’s happening. I wonder what licenses they’ll have this year!
Gentle Giant make some really spectacular product. It’s always a favorite stop to shoot at shows (although I hate the glass cases they use). The new SW movie should give them plenty to do shortly.
DC Collectables is sort of cool but I’m no fan or collector of Batman. Nice stuff is all there is to say.
That leaves about a dozen smaller companies that stand out if you have the where with all and cash. 3A, Moore Collectables (great female stataues!), Mezco, Four Horsemen, Pop Shock Collectiables etc.
I’ve been doing the Toygodd gig for almost 20 years. That’s a long time to be doing anything! Certainly many times longer than any job I ever had. I’ve seen the industry expand, contract, expand and shrink again. I now find the smaller art based toys (Like those distributed by DKE) to be far more interesting than most of the super hero fare out there. Jamungo’s Squadt line is very cool and interesting. Scott Wilkowski’s skeletal resins are fantastic.
So what does all this lead to you might ask? Well for me, possibly retirement. I love AFT and I will always be grateful to Andrew Gaughan for the opporutunity he presented me with almost 2 decades ago to write for the site. Being Toygodd is now a huge part of my being. Glenn Harman, Editor in Chief, is a great friend and a hard worker, trying to keep the ship afloat. Doc Owen, who updated the site and made it sooooo much easier to post, will always be held to high esteem. People have come and people have gone from AFT. The best stayed and flourished. That being said, I have always stated that if all of the sites disappeared that few companies would miss us. I sincerely doubt we affect their bottom line. I could be wrong but that’s my take.
I started posting on the Huffington Post this year. That’s pretty cool and very main stream. It’s nice to show the rest of the world some of the cool corners of our hobby.
2014 will be a year where I take a long hard look at the future. It might be time to pack up and leave the shack. Of course I’ll blow it up on the way out. No sense in leaving it to someone else.
That’s about it. I truly want to thank Andrew, Glenn and Doc for their friendship and comaradarie. Without it, working here would be a bore. To my readers, you’re the big reason I do this. If no one read my posts why do it? Drop me a line if you’re so inclined. Some who did got holiday surprises! Ho ho ho. Have a great holiday and a happy New Year. Let’s hope 2014 is a better year.
Remember, friends and family are far more important than the plastic we chase!
See you next year,