New York Comic Con has come and gone yet again. From our first look at Hellboy to a glimpse at What We Do In The Shadows, this year’s convention was chock full of surprise announcements. But no announcement was quite as surprising at the latest news from McFarlane Toys. In an interview with IGN, McFarlane Toys CEO and Venom Daddy Todd McFarlane revealed that the iconic toy company is returning to its horror roots by reviving the Movie Maniac and Tortured Souls toy lines.
If you feel that toy shelves have been a tad tame as of late, you’re not wrong. Back in the day McFarlane Toys was the premier purveyor of twisted toys. They made monsters like nobody else, and their creations were the piece de resistance at many a creepy kid’s Christmas. As McFarlane puts it, “When we started McFarlane Toys twenty-plus years ago, we were built on the detailed stuff, doing all these cool monsters and all this sort of wicked stuff. Unfortunately, the stores we were selling to at that point, like Tower Records and Suncoast and Babbage’s and KB Toys, and all these other ones, they’ve all fallen to the wayside”.
With fewer outlets open to sell McFarlane’s monsters, the toy giant has pivoted to licensed brands with fewer out there toy lines each year. But that’s all going to change, according to McFarlane.
“We live in a brave new world now where you can go literally from production to the consumer, right? You can cut out all the middle men and we’re seeing that with Kickstarters..So we’re gonna go back to our origins and we’re gonna go, hey, for all you people who like Tortured Souls? There’s gonna be more. For all you people who like some of the Movie Maniacs? There’s gonna be more. But even the new — the stuff we just created, like Dragons? More. Spawn? More. Twisted Tales? More. All the crazy stuff that we used to sell that we can’t because people just want brands now, the stores, I go so don’t worry about it…We’ll just sell it directly to you, the consumer. So that’s gonna be a big push for us.”
McFarlane Toys’ Movie Maniac series were some of the coolest toys a horror movie buff could ask for. First sold in the 1990s, each series featured miniature icons of Horror in full detail. I just might have a McFarlane Pinhead gracing my desk as I type this. The Tortured Souls line was a collaboration between McFarlane Toys and author Clive Barker. Featuring designs by Barker, each of the tortured souls came with a chapter of Barker’s novelette of the same name.