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JediCole
11-27-2003, 11:24 PM
Though Comedy Central spent many a year swearing blind that it would NEVER happen, they finally licensed South Park figures and they are out! We just got the wave one figures (Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Butters) and they look great but have two inherrant drawbacks.

The first is size. Since the manufacturer chose to concentrate on the children, the figures are so large that any adults would have to be about 12" tall putting them in a very high price point and effectively limiting the number of adult characters per release. The second is the manufacturer. I am unfamiliar with the maker of these figures (Drastic Plastic is all I can recall from the packaging, there was another name on there as well.). As a relative unknown they made that all too common mistake of licensed toy makers. They split up the principle characters! By shunting Kenny into "Wave 2" (along with Timmy, Tweak, and, inexplicably, Towelie) they have left us with a lop-sided assortment as experience teaches that about half of these lines never make it to the infamous Wave 2, much less projected Waves 3 and 4, etc. In sincerely hope that I am wrong about this, but I have been burned before.

The up side is that they did put some thought into accessories! All too often I am left wondering if the manufacturers of some licensed toys even know anything about the property they bought! This one did their homework. Kyle comes with his adopted Canadian brother Ike, Cartman comes with Kitty, Stan comes with his, um, "alternative lifestyle" dog (no pink bandanna, unfortunatly), and Butters comes with an Underpants Gnome! Provided they plan to make only the various children (and there are certainly enough of those to last a few waves) this could be a pretty good set. Each figure is about 6" or so tall and have some limited articulation if I recall (I'm not at home as I write this, nor have I opened any) and retail for about $12.00 each.

Beast
11-27-2003, 11:38 PM
Well, actually McFarlane had the license first. We even saw prototypes a few years ago at one of the Toy Fairs. They were even gonna do the cows and the aliens. By the way, the other name on the cards is "Mirage Toys". :)

As for why Kenny was shunted into Series II? At the time that these were planned, Kenny had been killed off permanently on the show. And there was some doubts if he was ever coming back. And Butters was the kids current new friend. They explained this somewhere, I forget where.

And I don't think they're worried about scale. Cause Series III and IV is nearly all adults. With only a couple of the secondary kids being made. So don't expect Scale to really be two taken into account for the series. :)

Entertainment Earth.com has revealed the line up for the next two series of South Park figures due out fall 2004 from Mirage Toys...

Series 3 will consist of:

Chef
Wendy
Mr. Garrison
Mr. Mackey

Whilst Series 4 will see the release of

Officer Barbrady
Cartman's Mom
Big *** Al
Shelly (Stan's Sister)

Series 3 is due for release in Septemeber 2004, whilst Series 4 is not due until November 2004

Entertainment Earth.com is now taking pre-orders for these figures, both by the set and by the case.
MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Beast
11-27-2003, 11:47 PM
Oh, and there's also an exclusive Mr. Hanky and Mr. Hanky's Son 2-Pack that was available exclusivly at the San Diego Comic-Con. And was limited to 5,000 pieces. And it points to the fact that they arn't really following scale for the series. As Mr. Hanky is taller then the kids. :p

http://www.figures.com/databases/action.cgi?setup_file=fignews2.setup&category=actionfigures&topic=86&show_article=84

http://207.44.182.109/photo/1/showgallery.php?cat=948&si=&page=1&sort=1&perpage=12&password=&ppuser=&stype=0

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

JediCole
11-28-2003, 12:26 AM
Well, actually McFarlane had the license first. We even saw prototypes a few years ago at one of the Toy Fairs. They were even gonna do the cows and the aliens. By the way, the other name on the cards is "Mirage Toys". :)



Though you are correct about the prototypes being seen a few years back, McFarlane Toys never actually owned the license. More recently it was revealed that the prototypes were shown at Toy Fair in New York that year, despite the fact that Comedy Central had not awarded a master toy license to anyone, McFarlane included. The folks at McFarlane have only gone so far as to admit to as much, but never really explained why they pulled such a stunt, since it would seem a waste of valuable (and expensive) display space at Toy Fare. Why exibit what you cannot sell?

The sad thing is that when these prototypes were revealed I was quite excited. I knew that at least if McFarlane had the license they would do something with it! Or at least there was that chance. The prototypes shown certainly seemed to suggest as much (unlike their fumbling of the X-Files license which then went to Moore Action Collectibles who seem to have more money than sense, buying a license and doing nothing with it ultimatly).

Also, it is good to see that there is at least some suggestion that there will be further lines. My earlier concerns have been bourne out historically with other lines. I did contact Diamond Comic Distributors after I received the first wave to seek confirmation of future waves and was told that none were planned. Now I will grant you that they don't necessarily get all the info on projected lines on a timely basis, so I was taking a wait-and-see attitude. But at the same time, I'd loved to have seen a few lines last a little longer than they did that were split up in this way. (And of coure I still think that the manufacturers of the Sid & Marty Kroft line missed the boat by not releasing a Sleestak figure in their first assortment in favor of a second H.R. Puffinstuff character).

JediCole
11-28-2003, 12:30 AM
Just checked out the links, thanks JarJar! Cool! It's not Cornwallis as I had at first thought, but his youngest son, the one born with a peanut in his head!

PygmyAllosaurus
11-28-2003, 12:57 AM
I wouldn't call Mirage Toys(which also uses the name ToyCom for some of their products) an unknown. In fact they are very well known, for how awful most of their product comes out. Mirage/ToyCom were once known as N2Toys, until they changed their name.

More importantly, don't get excited about Series 3 or 4. We'll be lucky if Series 2 makes it out. Last year this company did the King of the Hill figures(which actually weren't too bad, just overpriced like the South Park figures are). 2 Series of KotH made it out, and even though a 3rd was sculpted and shown, it was canceled. The only reason Series 2 of KotH made it out is that it was solicited through distributors before Series 1 was in stores, so no one knew how poorly they'd sell at the high price point. South Park doesn't have that advantage.


Out of series 1, Butters is the only one I've bought so far. Cartman looks so awful I won't even consider it, and the high price is keeping me from Stan and Kyle for now.



The prototypes shown certainly seemed to suggest as much (unlike their fumbling of the X-Files license which then went to Moore Action Collectibles who seem to have more money than sense, buying a license and doing nothing with it ultimatly).

Don't even get me started on that fiasco. Personally, I plan to never buy any figure MAC puts out any more after the way they handled the X-Files license. If you're not going to do them, let someone else do it, and certainly don't wait until the month your product is scheduled for to announce their cancelation. :mad: Of course, just based on who they had in Series 1, they had no idea what they were doing anyway, and it's not like MAC actually makes any figures I'd buy(the only MAC figures I own are the Futurama ones).

I'm just happy to see that someone has picked up the license once again, though I'll feel a lot better once we know who it is(because I really don't want Mirage/ToyCom, or some other mediocre company ruining another of my most wanted lines).

JediTricks
11-29-2003, 12:21 AM
N2toys used to be "Exclusive Premiere Toys", who made the Babylon 5 figures and all those weird Mego-sized lines that TRU carried like Honeymooners and James Bond and Dukes of Hazzard back in the late '90s. The Daisy Duke figure in that last line was called the ugliest figure ever by Toyfare magazine on several occasions (a claim that's hard to argue with) and the Honeymooners line was so insultingly bad that the estates of several of the actors sued E.P. over the unflattering likenesses.

JediCole
11-29-2003, 01:28 AM
Well, given the numerous identies that this particular manufacturer has enjoyed over the years, it is of little wonder that I did not recognize them. I would hold out (only slightly) more hope for this line over the King of the Hill line only because I suspect that South Park will attract more business than the KotH line did. Nice thought the figures were.

As for their price point, I don't know how much they go for elsewhere, but we are getting $12.00 each for them. Granted that is higher than say a mass-release figure of roughly the same relative size (say a MacFarlane fiigure or one of those Universal Monsters from a few years back), but then they don't enjoy the kind of production numbers afforded to these and other licensed figures. Toys R Us, Target, etc. would probably not have stocked the South Park figures even if they had been produced by MacFarlane a few years ago (when was the last time you saw "Tortured Souls" or "Twisted Land of Oz" at your local Wal-Mart?). Given that such a licensed product would never achieve the production numbers of lines like Star Wars, Justice League, Batman, or even the average Spawn line, $12.00 is not too high. I think the last MacFarlane figure I purchased at TRU was between $8 and $10. And the average wholesale cost (to comic shops, etc.) of DC Direct figures is $10.00 per figure if oredered individually. Even in the "master cases" they are not terribly much less. All of that being the case, $12.00 is still a fairly high price for any action figure, especailly one that has limited (if any) action.

For my part, I am taking a reserved approach to the entire line. Even with good sales numbers on a line, so many of these smaller toy companies inevitably fumble their licenses. The South Park figures were offered to retailers back in May and did not ship until almost the end of November! And in the mean time, Series II has yet to be offered!

JediTricks
11-29-2003, 02:55 AM
Toycom and N2toys weren't the same companies, not sure how Mirage and Toycom are together now, kinda confusing. Toycom put out the Art Asylum-designed Space Ghost Coast to Coast figure back in the day.

Lman316
11-29-2003, 02:00 PM
I'm surprised that no one noticed (or at least mentioned) the error with the Butters figure. He comes with an Underpants Gnome. Shouldn't Tweek be the one with the gnome?

As for the Mr. Hanky figure, they're at Toyzz.com, too. $11.99 for the 2-pack. So, luckily, they're not just a con exclusive.

End...

Beast
11-29-2003, 02:16 PM
It's not really an error. I remember hearing somewhere that they packed Butters with one for some reason or other. Though I can't recall what it was now. :(

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

PygmyAllosaurus
11-30-2003, 10:46 PM
Toycom and N2toys weren't the same companies, not sure how Mirage and Toycom are together now, kinda confusing. Toycom put out the Art Asylum-designed Space Ghost Coast to Coast figure back in the day.

I don't know how it happened either, but apparently as of right now, ToyCom and Mirage/N2toys are essentially working together on everything they do.




Well, given the numerous identies that this particular manufacturer has enjoyed over the years, it is of little wonder that I did not recognize them. I would hold out (only slightly) more hope for this line over the King of the Hill line only because I suspect that South Park will attract more business than the KotH line did. Nice thought the figures were.

I agree(though I did buy all the KotH figures), South Park should overall bring a larger audience.



As for their price point, I don't know how much they go for elsewhere, but we are getting $12.00 each for them. Granted that is higher than say a mass-release figure of roughly the same relative size (say a MacFarlane fiigure or one of those Universal Monsters from a few years back), but then they don't enjoy the kind of production numbers afforded to these and other licensed figures. Toys R Us, Target, etc. would probably not have stocked the South Park figures even if they had been produced by MacFarlane a few years ago (when was the last time you saw "Tortured Souls" or "Twisted Land of Oz" at your local Wal-Mart?). Given that such a licensed product would never achieve the production numbers of lines like Star Wars, Justice League, Batman, or even the average Spawn line, $12.00 is not too high. I think the last MacFarlane figure I purchased at TRU was between $8 and $10. And the average wholesale cost (to comic shops, etc.) of DC Direct figures is $10.00 per figure if oredered individually. Even in the "master cases" they are not terribly much less. All of that being the case, $12.00 is still a fairly high price for any action figure, especailly one that has limited (if any) action.



I imagine the license was probably pretty expensive to begin with, and with almost no retailers ordering(the only major one I know of that's getting this line is Media Play/Suncoast/MusicLand) the price must be higher. The problem here as I see it is that instead of working on improving the sculpts, articulation, and accessories to make up for the required high price, Mirage just bumped up the size to make these appear worth buying. Which hurts them even more.

The only other line I know of in a similar scale is Peanuts, and in that case there is better articulation, better accessories, and a much lower price.

Personally, if I were making the line, the first series should've been 4 adults, with smaller in-scale version of the main 4 kids packed in with them. The adults would obviously have more articulation, and at that size the sculpt and articulation on the kids could be justified. At this large scale, it's just rediculous.

RooJay
12-10-2003, 02:37 AM
Honestly, I have been waiting a very long time for someone, anyone, to make South Park figures, but I couldn;'t be more disappointed with these.
Not only are they far too expensive at 12 bucks considering the inherrent simplicity of the characters, but they are also much too large to begin with. Not only does the larger size make the simplicity of the characters much more obvious than thewy would seem at a smaller scale, but at that size I simply do not have the room for them; not to mention how much that size (and the tremendous packaging it has required) must have seriously helped to push that price point up.
I really do want to buy these figures, and if they were maybe 3 inches tall and about half as expensive I'd buy every last one of 'em, but with regards to the amount of space they'd take up and the amount of cash I end up spending if I were to collect more than one assortment - I find it incredibly difficult to justify.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of collectors out there are going to feel the same. I honestly don't see this line lasting much past the second assortment. A serious misstep by Mirage with what could have been a fantastically successful line, in my opinion. :(