2008 SDCC Day 2: Toy Biz - What was, what is, what might have been

by James
July 25, 2008
Action Figure Insider is presenting a panel at the SDCC looking back at the innovations that Toy Biz/Marvel Toys made on the industry. Daniel Picket is the panel host. On the panel is Jesse Falcon, Steve, Damon

1989 Toy Biz did the first Batman movie figures and expanded into DC before following it the next year with Marvel and then X-Men. Though perhaps not so impressive by today's standards, those 5 inch lines were innovative.

In 2000, Toy Biz unleashed Marvel Legends. Jesse brought with him the new Hulk figure to Comic Con, creating tremendous buzz.

Jesse had been working in development and was then assigned to seek new properties. When Lord of the Rings came in, Jesse switched at his insistance to working on that line.

The 6 inch Spider-Man classic line was inspired in part by the high level of articulation on the 12 inch Dragon line.

Toy Biz had designed a line of mecha versions of their heroes, similar to a Marvel/Transformers line in a 12 inch scale but the design process was flawed as they created the robot first and tried to work backwards to the vehicle, which lead to some strange looking vehicles.

There were prototypes made for Rhino and Lizard Icon figures that never got made.

Similar to the Robot Spider-Man figure, Toy Biz had planned to do robot versions of Wolverine and Captain America.

There were plans for an Absorbing Man BAF.

A working prototype had been made for a four wave Avengers Quinjet build-a-vehicle.

There was concept art created for Marvel's version of the Micronauts.

Darkhawk concept art was also made. Wings are also difficult to create on a toy.

A Dire wraith prototype had been created.

Toy Biz had done a great deal of development on the Marvel Legend line before Hasbro took over the license. Many of the prototypes went with the license which Hasbro then produced.

When Toy Biz lost the license, Jesse decided to track down the rights to other character Marvel had done comics for, but didn't have the rights to make figures of. The figure they were most interested in doing was Rom, but it turned out to be very difficult to determine who actually had the rights. Conan was the next character Toy Biz pursued.

Marvel's board of directors decided to pull the plug on Marvel Toys, foreseeing how risky the business was going to become with a sluggish economy.

The unreleased figures for LCBH shown were Grendel with staff, Hunter Rose, Aphrodite IX, Mean Machine, Conan in wolf pelt, including a wolf head hood and a war paint variant, Rockateer with removable helmet, Nixon with interchangeable head, Nexus with masked pulled back variant, Vanguard and Big Guy BAF.

Frost Giant BAF might still happen. The sculpt is similiar to Thor's frost giants so Hasbro has the option to produce it


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