McFarlane Toys has been winning me over for the past few years with their great Halo and The Walking Dead lines, and with both of those series continuing in 2012, I had to stop by and check them out at Toy Fair… Keep reading for a look at McFarlane’s plans for both lines in the new year!
The Walking Dead:
The Walking Dead line in 2012 will focus on the TV line, which has proven to be the most successful at retail. More comic figures may be released, but there are no definite plans yet.
TV Wave 2 will include five figures, and should hit next October. Be on the lookout for:
Rick (in a t-shirt and hat)
Shockingly, Walmart has picked up The Walking Dead toys, and will debut TV Series 1 in new smaller packaging as aisle sideliners this Spring. The gore on these figures was toned down just slightly from previous releases, but they are still surprisingly gross toys for Walmart to carry. While I hate Walmart personally, them picking up a line like this is a true blessing to the series (and the likelihood of its longevity), so that’s great news as far as I’m concerned.
McFarlane has also been working closely with Anchor Bay, and debuted their amazing season 2 DVD case, which houses the DVDs inside an all-new zombie bust! McFarlane’s design team worked directly with the show’s makeup producer Greg Nicotero to design the case, which is not only incredibly well-sculpted but features the coolest action feature I’ve seen since the Transforming case for the Transformers movie– the case loads the discs in the back of the zombie’s head, and to release them, you have to stab the zombie in the eye with the screwdirver and turn it to unlock. When you do, the case opens through zombie’s mouth and you can access DVDs.
This set will include the full Season Two DVD set (both halves of the split season) and should be available as a deluxe edition on the same day as standard release.
Halo was also very well-represented, with some new scales and new directions for the figure line.
The new scale McFarlane is introducing is called Micro-ops, a mini scale intended to incorporate in-scale giant vehicles at a reasonable price point.
The debut line will feature an in-scale Falcon that will still be a reasonable price point, as well as a focus on playsets and vehicles to army build and create massive battlescapes.
Vehicles will include mini figures and other set pieces, and how many side pieces included will be based on the size of vehicle (e.g. smaller vehicles will be packed with more stuff for a fair value).
The other new line is the Halo Avatar figures. Based on XBox Live Avatars, these 5″ scale figures are modeled directly after XBox online avatar templates. The debut series will include six figures, and will be blind boxed.
In the back half of the year, Microsoft will mark the return of Master Chief with Halo 4, and this will become the main focus of McFarlane’s toy line.
Since we’re a ways off from the game’s release, McFarlane could not show any prototypes at Toy Fair, but the plan is to support the game with a full line of toys released when the game is launched.
While McFarlane does have some designs completed, they cannot show them until final approvals are worked out at worked out at Microsoft– In the game, the developers can change designs much faster than the toy line due to the long manufacturing process timeline, so they cannot show any designs until the in-game stuff is approved.
With both Halo and The Walking Dead selling like crazy and featuring so much new and innovative product, 2012 is already off to a great start for McFarlane Toys.