The walkers are plentiful at American International Toy Fair this week in New York City, especially at the McFarlane Toys booth.The long-time collectible collaborator with Robert Kirkman for both the comic book and AMC television series worlds of The Walking Dead, McFarlane unveiled their entire lineup of action figures, statues and special edition DVD box set art for the year.
FEARnet talked exclusively with Carmen Bryant, Executive Director Marketing and Public Relations for McFarlane who said the brand just gets stronger and stronger every year. Their limited edition Michonne comic book action statue sold out last year, which paved the way for this year’s Rick Grimes statue.
Bryant says the idea came from the collaboration of Kirkman and company founder, Todd McFarlane. “It starts with a phone calling asking “What are we going to do next?” And they decided they wanted to do Rick in the same dynamic of the [Michonne] statue. It looks amazing.”
The massive sculpt features comic book Rick Grimes in a heated battle with three walkers. On display at the booth was the unpainted and unfinished version which features one walker on the receiving end of Rick’s gun to the head. It’s gory perfection. Bryant says the finished piece will be on “a base that will rotate 360 degrees. We’re keeping it under a 1000 and it will be sequentially numbered and have a CoA.” Retail is expected in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Meanwhile, The Walking Dead action figure lines remain popular with fans including Series 3 of The Walking Dead comic book figures including post Governor Rick Grimes, Andrea, Dwight and a Punk Walker. March will debut Wave 5 featuring characters from the AMC TV series including actor-likeness figures for Glenn, Maggie, Tyrese, the walker version of Merle and a Charred Walker. Bryant says fans who bought Carl Grimes in Wave 4 last year should pick up Tyrese. “A fun fact is that Tyrese will come with Carl’s gun, as we were not able to release Carl with his gun [last year].”
Bryant adds that their New Jersey based designers are already hard at work on Wave 6 of the action figures including the sneak peek of Rick Grimes on display at the booth. “They’re really been able to capture the progression of Rick and how he’s changed from season to season,” she says of the detailed sculpt. “We started off with him in the Sheriff’s uniform, then we changed it up a little bit with the bloody t-shirt and now his hair’s gotten longer. That pose is just so much of the Rick character and you wonder how they do it. Of course, having access to the actors to be able to scan them really helps us. We’ve always been able to make our figures look just like the subject even before the scanning technology. But now we can get it down to a precision, which allows them to add more to the detail.”
Also on display is the new 10-inch deluxe version of Rick Grimes (based on Andrew Lincoln’s likeness) that will be available in October 2014.
For Norman Reedus fans, Bryant shares that last year’s 10-inch deluxe figure of Daryl Dixon completely sold out. “He was so popular that we will re-release him this year, but we do also have in March a new Daryl on his chopper. It’s been a long time since we’ve done a vehicle and they nailed the details.”
“We also have an alternate Shane coming out this year,” Bryant continues. “We did the Shane without the hat on, so we’re doing the same pose and body with an alternate head. It will be in specialty and Toys ‘R Us.”
Asked which characters the fans want them to do next, Bryant says, “Hershel is one. Anytime that a character gets more screen time and when [the writers] start to tell their back story, fans really relate to that. In the beginning, we wondered would Hershel sell as an action figure. But people love him and now that he’s gone...,” Bryant just smiles and says fans should keep up with future announcements.
Last but not least, The Walking Dead Season Four Special Edition DVD case was also revealed for fall 2014. Bryant explains of the design, “If you remember there is a scene where [the survivors] are walking through the woods and a zombie is completely covered with moss, well that’s the case. When the case is working, the hands reach out and when you press them down, the DVD will eject.”
And for the completists, Bryant shares, “We’re working with AMC right now to do a limited edition for season one because we never did one.”