Licensing Free

By | Monday, August 21, 2006 Leave a Comment
Yesterday was indeed my birthday (and, I might add, I didn't receive any presents from you!) and I received some Goon action figures from The Wife and a Super Grover figure from my parents. And some things occurred to me while I was opening them...

My interest goes back to my days as a child. When I was a kid, I had a number of the Mego action figures: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Tarzan... In short, I had a range of characters from several different licenses that all matched each other. I could take my Captain America and Falcon figures down the street and have them meet up with Bobby Stuckert's Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Because the figures were all produced by one company, they all worked together collectively.

Since Mego folded, however, all of the licenses went to all sorts of different companies. The different companies naturally didn't consult one another about their products, and the different figures products no longer matched. The figures' scales were all over the map, production values ranged from appalling to impressive... There was no longer any sort of consistency.

The past few years, though, have seen several companies follow the lead of Toy Biz in figure production. The quality is generally impressive across the board, there aren't too many scales to worry about, and a variety of producers seem in relative tune with one another. So a Toy Biz Black Panther matches in scale and style with Mattel's Superman with Palisade's Kermit the Frog with Mezco's The Goon with Toynami's Thundarr.

Which means I can return to a time and place where licensing issues are no longer noticeable or significant. The Thing, Hellboy and Ookla the Mok can all share the stafe together comfortably. Lara Croft can help Nick Fury and Green Arrow try to take down Magneto. Blue Falcon, Buffy the vampire slayer, and Deathlok can join forces to prevent Electro and Zoltar from reviving a very Boris Karloff-ish Frankenstein's monster.

So, while I may never see these adventures in the pages of my favorite (or even not so favorite) comic books, I can still use my action figures to help visualize how I think an X-Men/Battle of the Planets/Justice League team-up might look like, regardless of what artistic talents I may or may not have.
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