Author Topic: The Hobbit - Toy Line  (Read 17024 times)

Offline Nicklab

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The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: December 17, 2011, 07:12 PM »
News is out about a couple of toy licensees for The Hobbit.  LEGO has signed on, and should do a pretty nice job with this.  A LEGO Smaug would be pretty awesome!

And then there's the figure line.  Check out this news from ToyNewsI.  A company called Bridge Direct has got the action figure license for The Hobbit.  Their credentials are less than impressive.
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Offline efranks

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 01:53 PM »
Yeah, I'd heard about Bridge Direct getting the Hobbit license.  I was less than thrilled about it.  I was hoping for Hasbro, even though that was a huge long shot.  I'm still hoping they do it in 3.75" format, though.

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 06:07 PM »
3.75" format would probably get my attention at the very least...

Though...  Lego's man.  Lego.  I may not have my attention drawn away from that.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 12:26 AM »
I'm hoping that they'll consider the history of the Toy Biz LOTR line and work in that scale.  The Hobbits are already so small that a 3.75" scale would make them REALLY small.  And seeing how a good number of the other major characters in The Hobbit are Dwarves, they won't be much bigger.  Working in that 6" figure scale (or was it 8"?) would at least give this new line some continuity.  And I think Bridge Direct will absolutely want some of that customer base that went in on the Toy Biz LOTR line.
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Offline efranks

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 03:38 AM »
I'd be very surprised to see an 8" line.  Since this will start over with the Hobbit I'm betting if they don't go 3.75" then they'll do 6" which seems to be the new 8" line in this economy.  Bigger and the retail cost could get out of hand, but we'll see.  I really don't think they're going to take the previous Toy Biz line into account.  If I were starting over, I wouldn't.  I'd go with the scale that best sells the line and with the economy today, I don't know if 8" is it.

I do agree that 3.75" is small, but if they normalized on a straight 4" height for average humans they could do it.  Plus we all know that size lends itself well to playsets and vehicles, meaning horses and whatnot.  Plus, based on that scale they could do an awesome dragon and eventually Ents and trolls and what have you.

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Offline shmashwitdaclub

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 09:17 AM »
6 inch does seem to be the way.  Thundercats, for example, started their larger scale line in the 8 inch format then after a year (or less) they are already pretty much abandoning that format and going 6 inch.  Bandais "reasoning":

Quote
The move from 8 to 6 was not one that we took lightly. While very successful, the ThunderCats 8" figure line will not be continued in its current form. However we do plan to release the 8 scale in a limited edition capacity in support of those who have been with the line since the first release.

But I would love (my wife would hate) a 4 inch line   ;D

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 10:48 AM »
A 3.75" line, if done even decent would suck me in... if successful they could expand into making figures from the trilogy too.   The thought makes me happy and sick all at the same time.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 01:45 PM »
That about sums me up on it too...  3.75" scale would get my attention.  Anything else won't, though if they go with the LOTR figure's scale, maybe it'll actually inject a little value into those P'sOS.
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Offline efranks

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 02:11 PM »
The biggest potential downside to this is that, IMO, nobody does realistic action figures in the 3.75" scale better than Hasbro (or 6" actually).  Mattel does okay with the stylized figures based on cartoons and comics and the JAKKS Pacific Pirates of the Caribbean figures weren't terrible although I never bought any so I can't speak to quality of the plastic.

Pretty much every other action figure line had drawbacks, at best, or just plain sucked. 

  • The Zizzle Pirates of the Caribbean figs actually looked nice, but lacked a lot of articulation and while they seem to hold up, they don't feel as sturdy as a Star Wars figure.
  • McFarlane's attempt at real action figures, for Prince of Persia, was a disaster, those things were terrible about breaking coming out of the package.
  • Playmates gave us Star Trek...
  • Spin Master did an okay job on Tron but only one or two of the figures really stretched beyond a basic buck with a helmet (and Kevin Flynn was not that well done) so it's hard to judge how they would do on a larger line of figures with human (okay, Hobbit and Dwarf) likenesses
  • Bandai? For cartoon based properties, fine, but humans in realistic style? Do they have a track record beyond Power Rangers?

Based on that, I have to keep my expectations low until I see some samples which, hopefully, will be at Toy Fair.  As of right now, I'm thinking if I spend any money on LOTR and Hobbit toys it will be Lego and only Lego.  And if the sets that have leaked look as good as the promo pictures, I'm going to be really happy with them.

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 04:13 PM »
I'd say the military lines were outstanding and would've been nice, but never got too heavily involved in licensed stuff...  Though, Merit's new video game figure lines are good, they just aren't wildly popular I think.  There's potential there with them.

You never know...  Some companies I think have potential, but others, it's like they just don't know what to do with the scale.  The blueprint's there for them, but they don't really follow it.
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Offline efranks

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 07:30 PM »
You know what, Jesse, I completely forgot about the military figures out there right now.  Don't know why.  But the stuff sold at Target isn't bad and the older 21st stuff was okay.  The PTE figures have kind of terrible heads, but the bodies actually make decent toys.  Same for those $1 figures that Walmart sells.  They don't necessarily look that great, but they're good toys.

I should also say that in that 6"-8" scale JAKKS Pacific, and now Mattel, have done well with the WWE stuff.  But, when it comes to licensed toys, until someone else knocks one out of the park, I'll stand by my statement that Hasbro is really the best in the game at that 3.75" scale.

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 08:10 PM »
Merrit (Forces of Valor) at Target does some pretty impressive sculpting I think...  Their gear assortment is nice, but they did Crysis and Assassin's Creed (all in the same general area at Target), and it's good stuff.  I could see Hobbit figures like those AC figures... 

21st's restructuring still, and dead in the water.  BBI's still around but not doing much.  Merrit is the only one right now doing anything, but they're working in the scale at least.

I think Playmates could do something...  Ultimately nobody's done anything like Hasbro has though, in terms of scale/scope, and ultimately quality too.  If they really wanted something successful, they'd push them on it I think.  They could handle the property fairly well I think, even if it's relatively short-term ala Indiana Jones.
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 05:06 PM »
A little disappointing on the toy line news, although I guess we haven't seen anything yet.  Hopefully they'll churn out some decent figures.  I never got heavily into the LOTR line(s), although I always wanted to.  Sure, there were some duds, but overall it seemed like a pretty solid line, particularly in the earlier/movie years.  I know things got a little more repeat heavy towards the end, but it seemed like a nice collection overall.  At the time (and also with this upcoming Hobbit line), I'd be interested in a nicely done 3 3/4 scale line of toys.  The main reason I didn't get more into the LOTR stuff (besides budget) was I simply didn't have the room for a lot of it alongside Star Wars, Marvel, etc.  The 6" stuff does allow for better sculpts/articulation many times though, and I could see why fans might want things to "fit in" with the LOTR line.  I still have my 10 or so LOTR figures displayed proudly, and think they hold up pretty well for the most part.  LEGO might get my attention as well, as I've been drifting over there more and more lately - at least to check things out.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 07:27 PM »
Wouldn't everyone just **** their pants if they made some awesome, hyper detailed toy line with great paint aps, insane sculpts, and articulation as good as the best Hasbro has ever done, and accessories/features (working sheaths, etc.) that would make you weep openly? :)

It'd just be funny if this company went nuts on this and delivered something so impressive it floored people.
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Offline efranks

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 10:21 PM »
I would stop buying Star Wars and own the entire line.  It's not that I want this company to fail or to not put out good toys, it's just that thinking about the other companies and their track record, odds are that this line won't match up to Hasbro's standards.

But, I look forward to being proven wrong.

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